The holidays are a wonderful time of celebration, giving, and spending time with family. However, for some they're also a time of great stress; especially when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your loved ones and you practice a different set of beliefs (or non-beliefs) all together. Being an interfaith couple already presents challenges, but it’s even tougher this time of year. That’s why we decided to ask a few interfaith couples to share their biggest holiday struggles.
Although these days I’m married to a fellow agnostic-atheist, I’ve navigated the waters of an interfaith relationship in the past. I dated a Muslim man for two years, and although he wasn’t exactly devout, the holidays were different. He didn’t really share my enthusiasm for Christmas, which I was always ecstatic about thanks to my Catholic upbringing. Conversely, he never really wanted to share much in regards to the holidays that were important to his family, like Eid and Ramadan. I can only imagine how much more complicated that would’ve become had we ended up having children together.
While I don’t really have a defined faith, I do love celebrating holidays. I like celebrating both Christmas (due to my upbringing) and Yule (because I feel more of a connection to pagan traditions than others). My husband doesn’t care much for the holidays either way, which does make it complicated for me at times. Still, he respects the ways I celebrate holidays and is willing to be supportive. In the end, I think that’s the most important thing about dealing with the holidays when you don’t see eye-to-eye with other family members, regarding your faith or otherwise: find someone who is supportive, and hold onto them.