Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Ho Ho Ho, Merry Chanumas!

I love Christmas. A lot. Thank jebus I don’t actually celebrate it because man, I’d go Christmas crazy. Tons of lights. Tons. I would totally make my husband line every square inch of the house with pretty white lights (the colored ones are nice, but the white have a certain classiness to them). He might be on pain killers for a few weeks after, but you’d be able to see my house from the space station. I’d get a dancing Santa. I might even rent out real reindeer. Woo…that would be sweet.

I enjoy Christmas, the season, the spirit. It gets tricky though, with Princess Peanut and all. I try and give her everything she needs to make her happy, but a Christmas tree just ain’t gonna happen.

A lot of mommies I know and love don’t even discuss Christmas with their children. Some think it’s forbidden biblically, others just don’t see the need. I’m quite the opposite though. I take her driving through the pretty lights. I tend to turn the radio up when the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve” is on-it’s AWESOME, and she totally loves to dance to it. I don’t skip over the page in her favorite book-“The Cheerio Cookbook”- that shows how to make beautiful (and I’m sure quite delicious) Christmas Tree snacks using only Cheerios, gum drops, food coloring ,2 bags of marshmallows and a stick of butter.

I talk to her about it and hope in her 2 year old innocence she gets it all. It’s not like she is going to grow up and NOT figure out something’s up. The streets are lined with red and green from Halloween on in most parts of the world. I explain to her that some boys and girls get to enjoy Christmas and some boys and girls get to enjoy Chanukah. I don’t play her Christmas carols or let her take pictures in Santa’s lap. But we do watch the lines of people at the mall as they make their way there. We point and smile and laugh. It’s fun for them, and enjoying other’s happiness? Not always a bad thing.

Now we do plenty of Chanukah celebrating at the Mahotmasteins. We have pretty decorations that our little Picaso has made all over. We know every word to Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song.” We have wicked cool menorahs (though the one that the girl made in school is the one we use with the most pride). And to make sure my husband gets to take his personal holiday spirit to his Christmas Wonderland called his office, I plan on spending the afternoon baking dozens of Chanukah cookies with my daughter for him and all his coworkers to enjoy.

Chanukah is great great fun. Fried things and presents and songs and family. But no matter how hard you try, it’s never going to be Christmas. It’s just not how we roll. So I say enjoy Christmas in a way that only a Jew can enjoy Christmas-from afar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with your approach, Mahotma. Exposing your daughter to other traditions while encouraging her to be strong in her own is a valuable lesson that will stay with her. Open-minded to others, firm in where you stand-- a tricky balance, but one which you seem to have under control!