(Closed) Jewish Bees – ’tis the Season

posted 7 years ago in Jewish
Post # 3
Member
2392 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@CanAmBride: I’m probably kind of weird but I LOVE not celebrating Christmas.  I am a little bit of a curmudgeon to begin with, which probably helps.  Not having to deal with a tree or decorations or mess, or buying useless things.  Not having immense pressure to spend the holidays with one set of parents or the other or feeling guilty for living on the other side of the country. My family usually does get together for a nice dinner on Christmas, but it’s more celebrating a day off and time to cook a nice meal than feeling like we need to be there.

Because we live on the other side of the country, and visit around Christmastime because that’s when there’s days off, we’re rarely around for Hanukkah.  We literally do give each other generic “holiday presents.”  I love it!  But that may just be me and my dislike of holiday pomp.

I am with you on the lights – I actually really like looking at other people’s lights, and my family sometimes puts a couple strings of the white lights up, but I would be really uncomfortable having green and red lights up at my house.  I feel like it’s saying something I don’t want to say, if that makes sense.

Post # 5
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I sort of love being the lone person who doesn’t celebrate Christmas. It was so defining when I was a kid, and still is, it’s like part of who I am to *not* celebrate.

Post # 6
Member
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

My husband is like this. However I grew up celebrating Christmas with a tree, decorations, presents and everything. We are now having the debate of what to do for the Holidays. This year we will not be decorating at all because I still go to my Moms house to help her decorate…but this will be another discussion once we have kids. We are not raising our children Christian (I dont consider myself Christian) but Christmastime brings back my fondest memories and I always loved the rituals that go with it!

Are there any fun traditions that you guys have that I could incorporate into our somewhat non-fath Interfaith household!?

Post # 7
Member
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Darling Husband and I are both Jewish, but we had a tree two years ago…we called it a “New year’s tree”. It was really fun to decorate and didn’t scream “CHRISTMAS!!” so that’s definitely something that I want to do with my kids.

Post # 9
Member
1636 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I am Jewish and my Fi is catholic we have a Hanukkah bush which is basically a christmas tree we decorate with blue and silver mickey heads and Jewish stars. 

Post # 10
Member
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@CanAmBride:  I love the Chinese food/movie tradition!  Though I don’t live near my family anymore, I used to really enjoy spending the holidays doing that with my family. 

Now, we spend Christmas with my fiance’s family, since we’re closer to them than we used to be.  But, I do enjoy those Jewish holiday traditions 🙂  (And when we were living closer to my family, I think my fiance did too).

But to address your original question…not so much now that I live in NYC where people seem to know what Jewish people are…but growing up, I often felt the frustration of people not understanding that Jewish people don’t celebrate Christmas, and the fact that it is not a hallmark holiday, but in fact a holiday rooted in Christian religious ideas.  (And this was growing up in Bay Area California, super liberal land).  In high school, and I think even college, I definitely felt like I had to explain to people that I don’t celebrate Christmas, we don’t have lights, a tree, etc. 

As far as a story goes, I think the one that sticks out in my mind the most is actually from when I was in 1st grade–everyone else was coloring Santas, and because I was Jewish (and I guess told the teacher I don’t celebrate Christmas), she gave me a reindeer to color in–I think it was the most neutral thing there was.  And I think I remember feeling a bit weird and out of place then. 

Though, a positive story to share–when I was a senior in high school, I was in a class that was basically a class to discuss all kinds of relevant issues that affect teenagers–drugs, sex, family, etc.  And a friend of mine and I had a Hanukkah party, and shared with the people in the class the story, the meaning, etc.  So that was neat.  🙂 

Post # 12
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Agree! Fiance and I are both Jewish, as are all of our parents, so we do chinese and a movie too. It wasn’t til I went to college in the midwest that I met people who had never heard of jews or not celebrating christmas – that was quite a shock 🙂

Post # 13
Member
22 posts
Newbee

My coworkers cannot understand why/how I don’t celebrate Christmas. It actually really irks me when I am berated with questions as to why not. I have been given the response “but it’s an American holiday” more than a few times. This aggravates me to no end!!! It is NOT an American holiday, it is a Christian one. Ugh, and now I’m annoyed, ha.

Post # 14
Member
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: Private home

@CanAmBride: Wow – she decorated your house???  That’s just rude, regardless of the holiday connotation!

Amusingly, despite being fairly Christian, my father constantly referred to our tree as a “Hanukkah Bush.”

Post # 15
Member
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

FH is divorced and his ex’s father is Jewish and mother is Catholic, however his ex did have a bat mitzvah and converted at a young age to Judaism.  He told me that when they were married, he came home one day and she had attached stockings to the mantle!  She had celebrated Christmas in her house growing up and wanted to continue the tradition.  He was slightly horrified haha…

My dad’s wife is Catholic and we do spend Christmas with her and are expected to give and receive Christmas presents while sitting around the tree.  His house has Christmas decorations all over it.  To be honest I don’t think it would bother me if only she would try to understand and/or participate in our holidays the way my Dad and brother and I do with hers.

I am not bothered at all by the general public celebrating Christmas but it’s the more personal confrontations with it that get to me!

Post # 16
Bee
2362 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden

Another Chinese food and a movie here!

I don’t mind the festiveness of the season in general but I do mind when people call Christmas an “American” holiday, because I agree, it is most definitely not.

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