What is Your Family Holiday Tradition?

12/09/2009 4:00 AM |

We look forward to the holiday tradition of sitting in a bar with Christmas decorations, playing “Fairytale of New York” over and over again until we’re all cried out.

ROY
Where I hailed him: Soho
Where he hails from: Indonesia
Years as cabbie: 6 months
Previous profession: Waiter
My family goes on retreat for the holidays. It’s a spiritual retreat. It’s very good, we need it. I’m Christian so I mostly think about praising my god on retreat. On Christmas we go to church, but we don’t do the trees or the presents. It’s just not a priority for us… God is the priority.

DAPUT
Where I hailed him: Williamsburg
Where he hails from: Bangladesh
Years as cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Always a driver
Just because I am not Christian doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate Christmas, so me and my family, even though we are Muslim, like to have a big tree and stockings and all the rest of it. We do the thing in the morning with food and family and Santa Claus. I think now it’s more of an American thing than a religious thing.

GAMAL
Where I hailed him: Midtown
Where he hails from: Egypt
Years as cabbie: 8
Previous profession: Construction
We open gifts on Christmas, but that’s only because we have kids. I have two daughters. They grew up here but my wife and I didn’t. As you can imagine, it’s hard to have kids here and not have them hear about Santa Claus. They hear that kids get toys on Christmas so they want them too. They don’t care what the holiday is about. And my wife and I don’t mind getting them gifts. It’s nice to give things to family. [What did you get them this year?] It’s a secret.

ELLIS
Where I hailed him: Grand Central
Where he hails from: South Africa
Years as cabbie: 3
Previous profession: Tech support
I love Christmas! This is the best time of the year. Everyone is always in a better mood around the holidays, even when it’s snowing and cold out. My favorite tradition is, every year all my family who lives in New York comes to my apartment for a big meal. Everyone brings something to eat and my wife cooks a ton. It’s great. All kinds of food. You should come! It’s more food than you can imagine. Then after we eat everyone sits around talking and laughing.

MUHAMMAD
Where I hailed him: Hell’s Kitchen
Where he hails from: Pakistan
Years as cabbie: 4
Previous profession: Always a driver
I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. I usually work on those days; a lot of jobs give you overtime on holidays and I don’t feel like I’m missing anything. Also, I’d rather make money. I don’t have kids, but I used to have traditions with my family, my parents and brothers and sisters. On the anniversary of my parents’ nikah, which is a wedding ceremony, we would all get together to celebrate. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to do this since I moved here. It’s too expensive for any of us to travel frequently.