|Latke making with my friend Mindy|
Christmas always wins. I don't blame the boys, it's pure magic. The lights, the music, the food, the anticipation, the absolute gluttony.
|First night of Hanukkah|
Hanukkah cannot compete and the kids know it. They taunt me with it. "My FAVORITE holiday is Christmas!" Followed by Easter. No mention of Hanukkah, Passover or even Purim. But I try. I do.
We usually have some sort of Hanukkah party, passing out "gelt" (chocolate coins), opening gifts and muddling through a few games of dreidel. We own a beautiful menorah. We slather potato pancakes with applesauce to try and make them appealing. (Hey it's better then fruitcake!)
The boys know they are Jewish, but also celebrate secular versions of Christmas and Easter. I'm aware that it can be confusing and sometimes they get mixed up. Just yesterday in the car the "Twelve Days of Christmas" came on the radio. "This is a nice song" Evan announced. "Is it a Hanukkah song?" Not quite son. The "Christmas" part should have given it away.
I did not celebrate Christmas as a child. I never believed in Santa Clause, and admit, I felt cheated. I am cognisant of the fact that the way we acknowledge the holidays may offend some. There are Jews who are disgusted that I allow a Christmas tree in my home. There are Christians who are appalled that we forgot the "Christ" in Christmas. Honesty, we mean no harm and do not wish to be disrespectful. My husband and I are simply celebrating the traditions that we both grew up with. We are not religious people, however we find value and joy in bringing the ritual of Hanukkah and Christmas to our own family.
Thus, we light our Menorah in the presence of our glittering Christmas tree. We play Bing Crosby's holiday hits while unwrapping our Hanukkah gifts. It's about tradition. It's about magic, joy, charity and family. It's our celebration.
Wishing you and yours a beautiful holiday.