Beautiful recollection of a childhood celebrating Ramadan alongside Christmas
I grew up in Chicago, the daughter of a conservative Pakistani Pathan Muslim and a small-town American Mormon. Theirs was a marriage founded on somewhat foolish optimism. Both of my parents assumed they would have the other converted to their own faith within months. My childhood memories of mom’s Christmases, our Eids, mom’s Easters and our Ramadans, serve as a testament to the contrary. This recollection comes from the strange serendipitous period where two of those major religious events – the Muslim month of Ramadan and the Christmas season – overlapped.
My mother would start baking Christmas cookies sometime around Thanksgiving and the cookie she’d always start with was gingerbread – cut into small man and woman shapes. There was something about the bite of Chicago’s autumn that would trigger some Midwestern American programming and right away my mother would begin to warm the house with the smell of cinnamon…
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