A NEW CANADIAN CHRISTMAS STORY – DECEMBER, 2016

Mary, in every nativity scene, wears a hijab. Well, maybe it is technically a “veil”. Women have had to wear head-covering in churches until 1981, sometimes just black lace. I remember school day tours of cathedrals, when we were required to put even just a “Kleenex” on our heads to show appropriate respect.

Recently a friend was purchasing Christmas ornaments for a tree for the Domestic Violence Response Team. Different colours were packed together. She decided to get purple and silver, “their colours”. A couple were standing there in front of the tall stack of decorations. The woman, who was wearing a hijab, asked my friend (in perfect English) why she had chosen those colours. That woman went on to explain that this was their first Christmas in Canada. A Christian couple had given them a tree and they wanted to decorate it, without offending those friends. They wondered what colours they should select. My friend said that they should choose the colours they liked best – that this is what Christmas is all about. The woman smiled, reached up and took a package of turquoise and silver balls.

This is a true story. Josie just told it at our Century House Association chairpersons’ meeting. I gave her a standing ovation and a hug afterwards. I think it would be good for our whole country if this story could be shared from coast to coast to coast. (Some new immigrants are going “north”, yes?)

A funny but sort of sad comment to finish is, in my rush to share a moving story, I misspelled “hijab”. This proves that I probably hadn’t even said it aloud. (I often say, about most words – if you can say it, you can spell it.) I need to pay attention and practice Arab words.

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