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Yasmina Sahir, Opinions Columnist

Christmas, commercialized or religious, has never been a sign of peace and happiness as someone living on the outskirts of Christianity.

Instead, the U.S. focus on Christmas over other holidays celebrated during the winter months shows a clear sign of exclusivity in the form of social alienation and cultural domination.

As a young child, I grew up in a culturally mixed household. In my own time, I felt compelled to explore the faith of my paternal lineage, read the Quran, and fasted for Ramadan in my teenage years. Every year, I felt awkward and out of place as “Christmas break” approached and the school’s halls were filled with decorated trees, tinsel, and stars.

Each year around Christmas, I got to stay home and used the day for extra homework. My family often chose to gather on this day for a non-religious feast because we all were home anyway. On Eid Al-Fitr, the celebration recognizing the end of Ramadan, school was in session like any other day.

This does not stem from a resentment against European Christian culture, but from questions about the world around me. I wondered if I could wear an Islamic star without teachers saying it was inappropriate. When would my Jewish peers see dreidels and menorahs lining the hallways of our schools next to the trees and angels?

I don’t see how Christmas will ever be truly inclusive until all other holidays are recognized and cherished equally in the eyes of the state and publicly funded schools.

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