Happy holidays from your (virtually) local Muslim! I didn't realize how many of you were curious as to why I don't celebrate Christmas/what I do instead on Christmas, so I decided to take up a few lines and answer properly rather than just reply to a few comments/emails.
But, before I say anything, please do note that I do not speak for anyone but myself--the media has become quite the expert in grouping all Muslims, Iranians,--well, any minority, really, together. So, no one is liable for my comments except for myself :)
Okay now on to a few of the most-asked questions!

Why don't you celebrate Christmas? 
Christmas acts as the symbolic birth of Christ (although most Christians know that his birthday does not fall on the 25th of December but was rather a pagan celebration that was adopted into Christian traditions by the Catholic Church in early AD). As a Muslim, while we do believe in Jesus and give him much respect, we do not believe that his birth was on the 25th of December. And, as most Christians view Jesus to be Lord, they would emphasize Christmas more than Muslims would, as we regard him as a Prophet rather than a God.
Moreover, as an activist, I personally view Christmas as a holiday that has been over-commercialized. Large businesses have tried to corporatize the holidays and shifted the focus to consumption rather than any religious connotations it had, unfortunately.

Do Muslims Not Believe in Jesus? 
Please see above answer :)

What do you do instead? 
To be honest, even thought we don't "officially" celebrate Christmas, we might as well. Because we (my immediate family and I) all live in the USA and get a few weeks of holiday break from work, classes, etc, we all come home and spend time together. We spend our time playing board games, making and eating food together, playing video games, exploring conservatories, enjoying our neighbor's Christmas lights, and going out for Thai food. Not to mention that my father has a prized orange plant (he is so determined to grow oranges in worthless Oklahoma soil) that he hauls indoors for the wintertime and acts as a makeshift Christmas tree, I suppose.
Also, when I was younger and wanted an excuse to receive presents so I asked my parents to buy me things in the name of Christmas, hehe. Now that I'm less spoiled, I do buy gifts for my Christian friends, accidentally make silly Christmas cards (see above photo), etc.

Are there any holidays Muslims celebrate similar to Christmas? 
Hah, we have quiiite a bit of holidays. While we do celebrate the birth of our most central Prophet, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) it's not as wide-spread/massive holiday as Christmas. The largest celebration that Muslims celebrate is Eid-al-Fitr, which is a huge celebration at the end of a month long of fasting (Ramadan). But, the largest holiday that I celebrate is definitely Eid-e-Nowruz which is Iranian New Years (not a religious holiday but basically an endless celebration of happiness and food) and is aligned with the first day of Spring. You can read a bit more on that here, and I will make sure to host another massive giveaway this year, as well, so stay tuned! ;)

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Hope that was semi-helpful and not too terribly dreadful to read through! Also please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any additional questions, or you would like me to elaborate on any point!
Or, if you have any general questions about Islam in general, as I am probably going to put a part II post on the Hijab (headscarf) post I made awhile back based on the questions I've been getting, so go ahead and please feel free to ask anything that is on your mind!

Also, a question for you! What are your traditions for the holidays? I'd love to hear how you celebrate Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/etc!

For those of you who are celebrating, happy holidays!

<(')

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