Shila, Germany and Iran
My family is not Christian but since we are from a Catholic background on my mother's side (she is German), we still celebrate Christmas in some of the ways that Christians do too.
For us, Christmas is the time of the year when everybody comes together: my parents and siblings, my uncles and cousins and even my great-aunts (even though for them it gets harder every year). We gather in a small Bavarian village near the Alps where my grandmother lives and my mother grew up.
On the 24th of December, we have our main dinner together, gathering around a huge table. During the day, everybody helps to prepare the food - usually chicken, potato salad and various green salads.
After dinner, we sing together. But since my father is from Iran and we are not only Christians in our family, we sing all kinds of folk songs or religious carols and say prayers, some in Farsi, even.
The next two days are all about being outdoors: we go skiing, hiking or snowboarding in the mountains. Those are the times when I feel most connected to nature and am so thankful for this beautiful Earth! I think it's a great way to spend a religious holiday.
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