Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Holiday Mix

I suppose these winter holidays are a time of reflection for many people. For some it is a religous and spiritual season. For others it is a time to appreciate family, friends and to give back to the community.

I was raised as a secular Jew. I learned enough to appreciate the traditions and heritage of the Jewish people. I married a "catholic school drop-out." Let's just say by the 6th grade he was asking too many questions and the answers he got didn't make sense to his analytical style of thinking. So it wasn't hard for us to make our holiday mix as we combine tradition, not religion.

The menorahs come out every year at Hanukkah and he's learned to recite the blessing. I have a few dreidels and will make latkes. We put up a Christmas tree (a fake 6-footer we bought at Wal-Mart years back). The christmas holiday decorations are kept pretty secular, with snowmen and such. Next year I think I will decorate the tree with dreidels. Then maybe it will truly be a Hanukkah bush!

When we lived in Illinois, we would make the drive to Iowa to spend Christmas with his parents. Now they usually make the drive out here. His parent's enjoy the giving spirit of the season so we always have way too many gifts for the two of us under that tree.

Tonight is christmas eve, and it is also the 4th night of Hanukkah. My brother and his wife and son came over for dinner with us and the in-laws. It was nice to light the menorahs with family around. They left early as Joey was looking ready for bed and about to start fussy time. Then we took Tim's folks and played some Wii together - Sonic and Mario go to the Olympics - and burn off some of the chocolate creme pie we ate. We are looking forward to christmas morning and opening all those presents. (really, who wouldn't!) Just like waiting for the last night of Hanukkah as a kid when we could open up what was left of the gifts. Even though I'm "old" that excitement doesn't get old, though it's probably a little more muted.

I am thankful this holiday for time with friends and family to share tradition. Enjoy it, appreciate it, and try to learn something from everyone.


Terry Odell said...

And thanks for the treasure chest - you make a deal with the Y that you'll make sure there's no way we can cancel our membership after all those goodies!

Nicole said...

you're welcome! it did look like some yummy stuff!