Article Discussion: It’s the Great Compromise, Charlie Brown!

HomeDiscussionsDecember HolidaysArticle Discussion: It’s the Great Compromise, Charlie Brown!

This topic has 3 voices, contains 4 replies, and was last updated by  Andrea 8 years ago.

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December 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm #4087


Click here to read the article: It’s the Great Compromise, Charlie Brown!

December 8, 2009 at 11:01 pm #4102


I married a Jewish man, and while we are not able to have children, I hear people at Temple say that if you make a big deal out of Sukkot, your children have FAR less interest in Christmas. What is a tree in the house compared to a week of glorious camping out in your own cool totally decked-out God-ordered “booth?” Heck, it’s about MY favorite holiday at this point!

December 9, 2009 at 1:16 am #4104

Debbie B.

This past Sukkot, my teenaged daughter told me that she feels sorry for her non-Jewish friends because they don’t seem to have many holidays. She said that when she mentioned preparations for Sukkot her friends said: “What, *another* Jewish holiday?” She happily replied, “Yes, it’s called Sukkot. We build a hut that we decorate. Then we eat our meals in it and sometimes even sleep in it. And we get to wave a plant. How cool is that?”

I thought about it and realized that of Christian holidays that I knew of only Christmas and Easter were celebrated as much as a half dozen Jewish holidays. There are serious Jewish holidays like Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and several that are specifically fun for kids like  Purim and  Passover in addition to Sukkot. My family also looks forward to our minyan’s annual Shavuot minyan picnic—with plenty of dairy foods, like cheesecake, of course. And there is Hanukkah too.

On the other hand, my kids are able to enjoy my parent’s Christmas tree and getting candy and small treats in left in a stocking (although they were not led to believe in Santa) when we visit them during Christmas (somewhat over half the time—when it doesn’t overlap with Hanukkah and when we don’t have some other event at that time like one year when we attended a bat mitzvah). So that could also be why they have never expressed any interest in having a Christmas tree in our house. But I do think that a more important factor is that they do not feel that they are missing anything because they celebrate so many Jewish holidays.

December 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm #4109


Great article, thank you. My husband and I are at the same stage – wavering about whether to start a family. I sometimes dread the added interfaith struggles, but I also believe that for Jewish kids of a Lutheran mom, it is beneficial to fully experience Christmas and know it is about God and, like you said, joy. Sheltering them from the religion so they only see the giant marketing force associated with Christmas, seems like it actually sets up more of a competition between Christmas and Hanukkah, rather than thinking of them as two seperate but meaningful holidays.

December 11, 2009 at 2:38 am #4110


I am an adult Jew of patrilineal descent raised by a Christian mother, who never converted. She brought us up as Jews, but did share the secular aspects of Christmas with us. It has never confused me or made me sad to be a Jew. I was always happy to see my mom share her traditions with us. As an adult, I married a Lutheran and am now engaged in raising 3 Jewish children. I continue the tradition of having secular aspects of Christmas and gift giving in the home to honor both my mother’s memory and my husband’s traditions. My children are 13, 8, & 6, and I my recently bat mitzvahed 13 year old has no misconceptions that she is Jewish. Jewish identity comes from what you teach them, engaging in Jewish education, and giving them room to question and take pride in their heritage.

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