Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy, uhm...Merry, er...

Ya know, without the pressure to post everyday such as I did in November, I haven't managed to come up with a heck of a lot to say. In November, anything was bloggable. Now, not so much. I think I need to hang on to a bit of that motivation or else this space is just going to fill up with dust-bunnies. Anyhow, since it is still Hanukkah, I'll stick with that theme for today.

Last week when I was reading kgirl's post about picking and choosing her holidays, I became a little jealous. You see, while I was growing up, my family celebrated all of the desirable Christian and Jewish holidays too. Although my mom converted to Judaism when she married my dad, she still hung on to Christmas and Easter. Not the religious part of it, but the toys/food/candy part of it. At Christmas, we had a mini tree, there were presents under it, and it was exciting. The Jewish celebrations tended to happen in the homes of my aunts and uncles, which were also fun and exciting. When my parents split and my mom moved us from Montreal to Toronto, we pretty much lost our Jewish-ness as we had no family in Toronto to keep the traditions alive, and none of us really had a lot of interest in learning what we were supposed to do. So around this time of year, we were mainly excited about Christmas, and we would look forward to all the many celebrations with friends, family, step-family, etc. Then I got involved with J, the man I would eventually marry. He had what one would call a "typical" Jewish upbringing. Christmas was just something that he viewed as a hectic time for those poor saps who have to spend crazy amounts of time and money at the mall every year. He wasn't altogether wrong, as it is easy to get caught up in that aspect of it, but regardless, it wasn't his holiday. Now that I am officially a Jewish wife and mother, I've pretty much abandoned Christmas, as it is not something that hubby is comfortable with. We still do something with my mom every year, including gifts, and a turkey dinner, but it is much more low-key than it used to be. A Christmas tree is kind-of inappropriate, and it wouldn't really go over too well with the in-laws. I feel that I have to hide any sort of Christmas reference from them as they have been worried about my lack of Jewish-ness from the very beginning. Yes, there is a whole other issue lurking behind the scenes, but I'm not going there. Suffice to say, the excitement is gone. It would be nice if I could pick up Hanukkah and make it as fun as Christmas used to be, but I can't. It doesn't really feel like my holiday, not having grown up celebrating it. We've been lighting the candles, and Pumpkin has received a few gifts, but I'm just not feeling the love. I realize that Hanukkah is not a replacement for Christmas, they just happen to fall close to one another, but I still wish I had something spirited l to celebrate around this time of year. I believe that as Pumpkin gets older, her excitement will feed mine, and we will find our way. For now though, I'm all "Bah, Humbug" with a touch of "Oy Vey". Merry whatever.


Melissa said...

I can understand this. Can you find friends or family in the area who celebrate Christmas that you can join for various things? I'm thinking

-Christmas tree decoration
-Christmas cookie making
-Christmas Eve celebrations

And for things that might still work with Hanukkah:
-Holiday Cards
-Making a big deal out of New Years' celebrations
-Hmmmm... what about celebrating Boxing day? Do they do that in CA? It's sorely overlooked in the States and I wonder if that counts as too un-Jewish?

Of course there's always Festivus ;)

Kellan said...

I'm sorry you are having holiday confusion! I can understand some of it - my father's wife is Jewish. I think there are a lot of people having a hard time getting in the mood this year - whatever holiday they celebrate - for whatever reason. I am going to bake tomorrow to help me get more in the mood - that sometimes works. Take care. Kellan

naomicatgirl said...

Sounds stressful, and it needn't be.

I'd love to chat with you about ways to make Chanukah seem more like "your" holiday.

Perhaps it is something you can do for your daughter, and create new traditions with your family.

Although I grew up with Chanukah (and some of the other Jewish holidays), my family never really made it special. We've started creating our own traditions - colouring pages, friends for dinner, etc etc. It's difficult, but it is fulfilling.

lildb said...

oh, that's such a bummer. I wish I could sprinkle you with red-and-green sugar and it would automatically un-bum you.

I recommend reading some David or Amy Sedaris literature, stat.


motherbumper said...

lildb is such a sage soul for someone so young - listen to her, that is great advice.

petite gourmand said...

I can relate...

either way Chanukah or Christmas or long as you get to spend time with your family & friends nothing else really matters.
corny but true.
and truth be told Christmas trees can be a real pain the the...
those pesky pine needles everywhere.

nice to meet you too
and happy holidays!

BlogWhore said...

have a glass of wine.