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  1. #1
    jeronimo
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    How do you?...

    Living as a Jewish parent in the USA, in a neighborhood that is more Christian oriented, how do you cope with your children asking when Santa will come and demanding a Christmas tree?


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  3. #2
    tanjalalie
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    How do you feel about the old pagan traditions? Like the tree? and the commercial Santa one? Are they too tied in with the notion of the birth of the Messiah for you?

    For me they are barely connected so we just do both, with little emphasis on any religious aspects. I mean, a tree and santa. Just as fun customs to brighten up the dark winter days

    If to you they are more connected, can you tell them that everyone has their own rituals and traditions, and that's good of course, but you're sticking to yours? And celebrate with that Menorah! and those glorious 8 days of light and cute gifts!

    Happy Hanukkah, and merry Tree and Santa days to all!



    Tanja
    Me: 42, DH, Avi: 29. Three
    IVF #2 12/04: Twins. Twin B at 11 weeks, 2 days
    Twin A: Quinlan Nathaniel, 6lbs, 10 oz. , born 08-29-2005 Proud to be AHM!
    Natural miracle Kian Yehuda to be delivered by C-Section on 2-16-2007



  4. #3
    AmyP
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    When we moved back to the US from Australia (we lived in Canberra - where there are basically no Jews and certainly no reform Jews) we intentionally moved to a neighborhood that is very diverse - with a noticeable Jewish population. Even though we are not particularly observant, we missed having access to a Jewish community and culture.

    That said, Christmas is still a powerful draw for our 5 year old. I think having her in Sunday school where she is exposed to what is fun and special about Jewish Holidays and culture makes it easier. Of ocurse the other day she said she wanted to celebrate Christmas and I said " well - I suppose I could get rid of the eight presents I bought for you for Chanuka" A bit of a cop out ... but it worked!!

    Is there any support for Jewish culture in your area?
    Amy

    Mom to Mia
    born Guatemala 4/2/2000
    home to Boston 7/5/2001


  5. #4
    jeronimo
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    I guess one of the issues I have with the holiday season is that it became all about gifts and a long while back lost its soul… not only in Judaism but all across the board. People go to the synagogue every so often, socialize, and call themselves Jews. Christians go to Church every so often on a Sunday, put up a Christmas tree and call themselves Christians. I just don’t buy into this. And when one is surrounded by this fake religiosity which is also what the children see and absorb, it makes it harder to explain to them that faith is not about gifts or gossip at the house of prayer. I am just venting. It looks like most people in my area gave up to the gift race between the religions. I take my children to spend Christmas eve with our neighbors across the street. One thing I teach them is to be open and respect everyone else faith. When they grow older they can choose whatever path to follow. We celebrate at home stressing the spirit of the holiday and we invite people who want to come to celebrate with us (including Christian neighbors who are as open to others as we are). Yet when my child asks me when will Santa come with the presents because his Kindergarten teacher told him Santa comes with presents to children of all faiths, I find it putting me in a position where I other have to disillusion my child or play a game I don’t believe in. This is just one example. There are unfortunately plenty more.


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