Muslims Warm to Christmas Spirit

December 24, 2007

Author: Catherine Jun

Source: The Detroit News

NORTHVILLE -- For years, Malik Ankouny's parents took great pains to make it look as if Santa had descended on their house on Christmas Eve. They took bites out of carrots set out for Santa's reindeer and drew sleigh tracks in the snow with a hockey stick. In this, the Ankounys are not very different from other American families trying to make Christmas a magical time of year. But the Ankounys are Lebanese Muslims, and adopting aspects of Christmas sets them apart from the mainstream Muslim community.

The couple not only keep up the ruse about a sleigh-riding St. Nick, but they also decorate an artificial tree, hang a wreath on the door and string lights on the bannister.

"It's for the kids," said Rania Ankouny, 37, Malik's mother. "It's just keeping the spirit going."