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Mixed-Up Holidays

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More families than ever are celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah this year. While the kids seem to be reveling in the holiday spirit, many parents are anxious about not being on the same page. Are you among them?

girl holding a crucifix and a menorah

Guest blogger Single Mom Seeking:

My own childhood holidays were very mixed up:
• My dad is Jewish.
• My mom is Catholic, although she turned agnostic in her 20s.
• My stepdad, who has been in my life since I was 12, is a staunch Episcopalian.

I had my bat mitzvah when I was 13. Still, my family always celebrated both Jewish and Christian holidays. But here's the catch: as a kid, I don't remember feeling mixed up. I just remember being thrilled about getting all those gifts.

So, when I become a mother, I saw nothing wrong with having a do-it-yourself multi-cultural holiday, too.

Apparently, I'm not alone.

The December issue of Wondertime magazine has been flooded by responses to its holiday feature, "Branching Out," about a non-Jewish dad who convinces his Jewish wife to get a Christmas tree.

Apparently, the folks in his wife's shul aren't too thrilled about the tree idea.

My child went to a Jewish preschool -- and celebrated Shabbat every Friday -- but she's clearly a multi-cultural kid. Here's why:

I'm white, of Polish and Irish descent. My daughter's father is African-American. She has a beautiful fro, cinnamon skin, and full lips. People sometimes assume we're not related.

I'm determined to celebrate who she is -- and who we are -- with pride. That's why I say: Bring on the mixed-up holidays. We'll light the menorah, a few feet away from the Christmas tree (fire hazard?). Did I mention that we always add a bit of Kwanzaa, too?

If you're a multi-cultural family, let's hear from you. Do you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa ...? How do you do it all?

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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Samantha Amses December 13, 2008, 12:01 AM

i celebrate Chrismakuh — my mom is jewish and my dad is catholic. i dont have children yet, but i know when i do they will definitly celebrate and embrace both holidays. i would love to be able to celebrate all the holidays. holidays just put me in a good mood!!!

Happy Chrismakuh to ALL!!!

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