Christmas is a magical time, steeped in the spirit of love, compassion, and festivities. But for someone who has never spent celebrated Christmas, the experience can be quite overwhelming and revealing. So when the coronavirus pandemic forced a Muslim man to spend the holidays in Canada, the results were hilarious.
Taking to the microblogging site Twitter, Mohammad Hussain posted a blow-by-blow account of his first Christmas in a Western country. And his observations are taking Twitter by storm.
The first observation was that Christmas wasn't as easy as it looked.
"Observation 1: Christmas is a part-time job that you have from mid-November to the end of December," Hussain wrote,
"From the outside looking in, Christmas always seemed pretty simple. I always thought you put up a tree and then gave gifts to family. This is a lie."
Hussain went on to outline the various 'tasks' one must perform ahead of Christmas including putting up lights and Christmas decorations both inside and outside homes, getting perfect Christmas presents for all friends and family, finding apt decorations for the Christmas tree including 'keepers' and 'fillers' and deciding the Christmas 'menu'.
Hussain also observed that when it came to their Christmas traditions, Canadians could be quite the sticklers.
"Observation 2: People have very strong feelings about their Christmas traditions. If someone is insisting that *certain food* is what you have to eat Christmas morning, because that's their family tradition, DO NOT SUGGEST ALTERNATIVES. They will stab you in the neck," Hussain wrote.
Observation 3: You can buy yourself a gift but you can't stuff your own stocking.I don't understand this one but I told my roommate I bought stuff for my stocking and they said that's not a thing. I don't care. I bought myself mint chapstick and I will fake surprise.— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
But perhaps the best observation was about the Christmas tree decorations.
"Observation 5: There are two streams of Christmas ornaments. The "fillers" and the "keepers"," Hussain wrote. For those not in the know, Hussain explained that "fillers" were the "generic" type of ornaments that had no intrinsic value or backstory. "Keepers", on the other hand, were meant to be more "special and unique".
Upon his friends' insistence, Hussain went and bought himself a "keeper" to mark his first Christmas - a fake doughnut.
My roommates encouraged me to buy my own keeper ornament. They told me to find something that made me smile and that was special to me. I bought this one and I am very happy. It is an everything bagel. pic.twitter.com/dbrTZQzK47— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
It was also when Hussain realised that Christmas is also not a cheap affair. Hussain had to spend over $15 on his 'keeper'. In the end, Hussain applauded "longtime Christmas celebrators" and said that he too had ended up enjoying the festivities.
To wrap things up I want to applaud longtime Christmas celebrators. This is a lot of work and very tiring.I will say I am having a very pleasant time. I am learning that I enjoy Christmas music and gift purchasing. I am also learning that I do not enjoy peppermint.— Mohammad Hussain (@MohammadHussain) December 19, 2020
Hussain's post went viral with each post getting thousands of 'likes' and retweets.
Turns out, Hussain wasn't the only one overwhelmed by a Western Christmas. 'Desis' across the world can relate only too well.