Post # 1
I’m Jewish (convert) and my husband initially said he wouldn’t want to celebrate Christmas (as he never liked it anyway), but now he’s slowly bringing in Christmas elements, such as a turkey and a Christmas pudding, and says he would like me to be with him on this special day (I had planned a long hike through a park that I would have to myself on that day!). I feel Christmas is pulling me in, and I do want to make my husband happy obviously, but I don’t want to do anything that I would feel uncomfortable about. Some may say that there’s nothing religious about a turkey, and I agree, but I feel I need to stand up for my faith by avoiding all things Christmas. Am I going too far? Can anyone give me advice please?
Thank you very much!
Post # 3
@Mirjam: I tihnk you are going too far. When you look at contemporary Christmas, it’s more about family and togetherness (and consumerism) than anything else. I know with a lot of religious converts, for a good long while there is an emphasis on proving (to yourself and others) that you are genuine in your adopted beliefs. I completely understand that. But celebrating love with your husband is not something you need to fear. I tihnk you guys should celebrate both hanukkah and Christmas as a way of showing each other you care for one another, and respect each other’s beliefs.
Post # 4
i second the celebrating both. As long as he celebrates with you, then celebrate with him as well.
Post # 5
Currently Christmas is just an American consumer holiday revolving around Santa, Christmas lights and a christmas tree. There really is nothing “christian” about the holiday at all. To me, mainstream Christmas is just as American as Thanksgiving. Most of my Jewish and atheist friends celebrate it, so I see nothing wrong with it. (I’m saying this as a religious person who tries to incorporate baby Jesus back in the holiday, but I see nothing religious about santas and christmas trees).
I think you both need to agree on what you should celebrate though. Maybe he has childhood memories of it?
Post # 6
@Mirjam: Celebrate both. Simple as that. Compromise is something you will have to learn.
Post # 8
I think that you need to be considerate of your fiancé’s traditions and beliefs. If he wants to celebrate Christmas in a secular manner then what does it hurt? Does it really threaten your beliefs? Does he celebrate the Jewish holidays with you?
Post # 9
I’m a little confused. Are you both Jewish? A Jewish-Christian mixed marriage? You’re Jewish & he’s non-religious?
If Christmas is his holiday, it’s important for you guys to come to an agreement on how to share both your holidays. If you are both Jewish or if he is non-religious, maybe you can invite him to join you on your walk for some time alone together as a couple?
Post # 10
My FI is Jewish and we drove around looking at Christmas lights the other day. I’ve put tinsel all over our fireplace and got a mini Christmas tree for our dining room table. We couldn’t find the menorah this year so we just ended up lighting a scented candle. Last I checked, the FI is still just as Jewish as he was before December. I’ll let you know if that changes and he starts caroling and growing a big white beard though.
Post # 11
@Mirjam: I’m confused, is it “illegal” (for lack of a better term) to celebrate Christmas if you’re Jewish? My Jewish friends seem to celebrate both Christmas and Hanukkah (none of us are very religious though).
Post # 12
Does he celebrate Hanukkah with you?
Post # 13
Thank you all so much! I think you’re right that I try to “defend” my Jewishness a bit too much, and there is nobody else in my city (Aberdeen, United Kingdom) who I know is Jewish. Perhaps I fear that celebrating Christmas will make it seem as though I’m giving up my faith – I’m clearly wrong there. This is indeed a good lesson in learning to compromise, I’m not good at that. Our marriage is two years old and I still haven’t mastered it. Anyway, I’m rambling :-). Thank you for your wisdom!
Post # 14
I don’t claim any religion, but I LOVE Christmas. There was actually just a thread about Athiests celebrating the holiday. You can celebrate and participate in the parts that aren’t religious (which, these days is most of it)
Post # 15
I was raised Jewish, but we celebrated (consumer/family) Christmas as well. I didn’t realize until elementary school that it was a religious holiday. My husband and I still celebrate (non-religious) Christmas- we have a tree in our house, lights on the porch, and stockings hung up. We also celebrated Chanukah, sang Chanukah songs, exchanged Chanukah gifts and made latkes. How you celebrate holidays and live your life is of course completely up to you, but why not have the best of both worlds?
Post # 16
@atlbride2013: HAHAHA!!! That’s brilliant, love it!