Despite the fact that both of my parents are Jewish (and were, in fact, born Jewish), we celebrated Christmas growing up. We had a tree, which we referred to as a “Chanukkah bush” about 1/8th of the time, put out cookies and milk, got a stocking and lots of presents, and had the whole thing videotaped by my Dad for posterity. Then we went to a movie and out for Chinese food like all the other Jews. My Mom likes to say having a tree was a way to “bring nature into our house”. I like to say, “My Mom will use any excuse to shop for her family”.
It was a nice tradition, even if slightly confusing to explain to others, and I have mentioned to Joe more than once that I wouldn’t mind having a tree. I think I actually have said something to the effect of, “We could move that chest over there and a tree would fit perfectly.” Yet Joe, former Catholic and fervent new Jew, has been able to resist the twinkly lights and fresh scent better than I, and our household remains treeless.
Last year was the first year that Elijah really got wind of the Christmas spirit, but this year his Christmas envy has been in full blast. Luckily, we had planned a weekend up to visit Joe’s family for tree decorating.
It was really magical way to spend a few very snowy December days. The kids got to dress two trees, eat Christmas cookies (that were gluten-free! Thanks Aunt Mandy!), play in the snow, hang out with Santa, and just spend some lovely quality time with family.
I think we’ve found ourselves a new family tradition.