(Closed) celebrating x-mas as a jew

posted 6 years ago in Jewish
Post # 3
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

It may not be your holiday, but if you are visiting during their celebration, they’re probably going to want to make you feel included.  This usually means exchanging gifts and she might as well get you something you like/need.  I think it’s very thoughtful that they are trying to keep from feeling excluded from your in-laws. You seem to be ok with your husband showing interest in your religion but aren’t flexible when it comes to celebrating something different once a year.

My fiance is Jewish and I was raised Catholic.  We just exchange gifts for Hanukkah with his family on one day and then go to my family’s house on Christmas Eve to exchange gifts.  It’s not that big of a deal to us.  We’re enjoying our families during the holidays.  If they’re expecting you to go to church or something, that’s when it gets a little bit more uncomfortable.  However, my fiance comes with us to church on Christmas Eve and I go with him to temple as a compromise.

Post # 4
Member
403 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

It’s nice that you join his family for Christmas, but you shouldn’t have to accept gifts from them on a holiday you don’t celebrate, especially if it makes you uncomfortable. Would they be able to give you gifts during Hanukkah? You could invite them over one night to celebrate with you: that way, they could learn more about your traditions, and give you presents at an appropriate time.

Post # 5
Member
1626 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

My dad converted (not for marriage even) and once when we were growing up we visited some cousins over Christmas.  Because it’s their holiday we bought them presents.  Because we had asked about what they wanted, they felt compelled to get gifts for us as well.  My parents were somewhat uncomfortable with this, so they explained it to us ahead of time that this did not mean we were going to be celebrating Christmas–just helping them celebrate an important holiday for them.  I guess you can think of it in that way?  You don’t have to go singing songs that have overtly religious elements, but I think it’s probably fine to do a present exchange.  Since a Christmas-list makes you uncomfortable, just say “oh I’m not expecting anything of course! If you’re moved to give me a present I know I’d appreciate anything you picked, but I of course don’t expect one”…and that can be true whether its an xmas gift or any gift!

Post # 6
Member
10589 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I think a good compromise would be to accept other’s willingness to share their joy for their holiday, and you may do the same.  Accept a Christmas gift, but give Hanukkah gifts.

Post # 8
Hostess
1427 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Monkey786:  If you were invited to a Catholic/Full Mass wedding, would you still gift the bride and groom a gift? You wouldn’t take the communion as a non-Catholic but you would still share in their joy of a special occasion. Not quite the same situation but Christmas is their “celebration” and they’re sharing it with you. You shouldn’t have to do the religious bells and whistles but just “helping” them celebrate something fun!

Post # 9
Member
2286 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: Central Park

It will be easier in the long run if you just accept a small gift as part of a family tradition. It doesn’t seem like they are overly religious anyways. Just tell her what lotion scent you like and let her get you bath products Or something you would buy for yourself anyways. 

Post # 11
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Christmas isn’t really about Christ. At least, not anymore. I celebrate christmas and am athiest…it’s more of a cultural thing. And yes, people do typically have a Christmas wishlist! No need to feel weird about that, it’s normal. My husband is jewish (by heritage, he’s secular like me). We celebrate both holidays. I think it’s really sweet that your SIL is being so inclusive. It’s really just an excuse for family members to spoil one another and spend time together. You knew what you were getting into when you married your Darling Husband….why is it such a big issue now?

Post # 13
Member
16 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I think the use of the word accept with regard to this topic, is a harsh word. I really feel that one should concentrate on embracing this time of year. 

 I believe that since you have combined both faiths by marriage one should respect and aprreciate each others family practices and rituals.  In my opinion the Holidays are about family and loved ones, with each faiths Commemeration of their specific holiday. 

As a Jew, I have never been offended by receiving Christmas gifts from my Fiance’s family nor have I felt disprespected by receiving gifts wrapped in Christmas paper.  I feel quite honored as my new family has opend their arms and hearts and choose to include me in their celebration.

If the fact that your SI asked you what you would like and she is buying you a Christmas gift, let her know what you would like, and if you were planning on buying Chanukah gifts for your inlaws present your Chanukah gifts wrapped in Chanukah paper and enjoy.

As women who are entering into Interfaith marriages, we have to Appreciate & Respect our husbands and their families beliefs and culture. We made the conscious decision to marry outside of our religion, and our perspective families should not have “adjust” thier beliefs or practices because of us.

Our Holidays have always been about family and loved ones.  Let go of the technicalities and embrace the joy of family on the Holidays no matter what holiday you practice!!!!

 

 

Post # 14
Member
1095 posts
Bumble bee

I’m a convert to Judaism and I am struggling with this question myself. This year will be my first Christmas as a Jew and I am trying to negotiate how I should approach the holiday. For the past 4 years, we have always attended my family’s Christmas dinner on the 24th and we plan on doing so this year as well. But as we start our lives together, and are planning to TTC in the next few years I wonder if this won’t be confusing for our kids. On one side, I want my children to experience the joy of Christmas as I remember it as a child; on the other hand, we plan on raising our children Jewish and I wonder if “Christmas at Grandma’s” may make them undermine their own Jewish identities.

Post # 15
Member
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’m Jewish, too but grew up celebrating both Jewish holidays and Christian ones since my mom converted to get married.  Christmas was never a religious holiday for us, more of just a tradition.  Christmas is such a commercialized holiday now, maybe if you think of it that way it won’t be so uncomfortable for you?  If your husband is open to celebrating your religious traditions, then you should try to be open to his. 

I’m with you on the weirdnes of giving her a list – I don’t like giving anyone a list of things I want! 

 

Post # 16
Member
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

And just to add to those who are concerned with confusing their children – it’s really not an issue. I went to Catholic school my whole life, celebrated all the holidays and learned about both religions.  It’s had much more of a positive impact since I have learned about each, am well rounded and more in a position as an adult to decide which religion I prefer. It’s also made me much more open to those of different religions and can appreciate the similarities and differences between them.

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