Out in the Open

How to do Christmas when you're not Christian

How do you handle the omnipresent Christmas spirit when you're not Christian? A Muslim, a Jew and an atheist Sikh sit down with a Hindu (Piya) to share their coping strategies for this religious-cum-secular occasion.

A Muslim, a Jew and an atheist Sikh sit down with a Hindu (Piya) to share their coping strategies

Children gather for a group photo in a kindergarten class in Toronto. Holiday lessons focus on many seasonal holidays that reflect the diversity of the class. (The Canadian Press)
Listen8:56

The so-called "holiday season" is in full swing but we all know that most of the time "holiday" undoubtedly means Christmas.

For many people, December 25th is just another statutory holiday. So we gathered a group of non-Christians to talk about how they get through Christmas.

Debra Landsberg is a Rabbi and a mother of triplets. For her, a statutory holiday is just another day and she chooses to get through it without acknowledging Christmas at all. 

El-Farouk Khaki is co-founder of the Toronto Unity Mosque. While he doesn't celebrate Christmas, he does deck out his home with seasonal lights, but takes issue with the consumerism and overconsumption that comes along with the occasion.

Navneet Alang's a writer and identifies as an atheist Sikh. He partakes wholeheartedly in the less religious aspects of Christmas like presents, food and drink. 


This story originally aired on December 17, 2016. It appears in the Out in the Open episode "Holiday Survival Guide".

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