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Interfaith Holidays?

Andrea - posted on 11/18/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am a new mommy of a 3 week old boy. I am jewish and m,y husband is a non religious baptist so we decided after a long talk to riase our son jewish. The holidays are coming up and I wanted to know how others out there who are interfaith married deal with the holidays. We will be going to his parents for xmas but I dont want my son growing up thinking we celebrate both hanukah and christmas. Advice please.

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Hi Andrea,

I converted almost 3 years ago and I have an almost 2 yr old daughter and a baby boy on the way. My husband and I decided that we will raise our children in a Jewish home. My family is not Jewish (nor religious but do celebrate Christian holidays). We made sure that we discussed our wishes for raising our children Jewish before the holidays or any other religious related events came up so that they understand our wishes.



We visit family in the holiday season. If they wish to give a present to my daughter I don't mind as long as it is not related to Christmas or anything religious. My kids will know that it's okay to share friend’s and family’s holidays but we are Jewish and celebrate Jewish holidays.



To me, it's all a part of living in a multicultural community (I'm Canadian and we try our best to celebrate differences). It was a little bit of a challenge at first because I didn’t want to offend anyone but now I feel comfortable in my choice. My husband didn’t quite understand at first because he’s Israeli and had never experienced the Christmas season before (we‘ve only been living in Canada for 3 yrs). He was a little overwhelmed by how crazy the holiday season is for people who celebrate Christmas ;)



I hope this helps. Good luck

P.S. Mazal tov! Welcome to Motherhood :)

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Gabrielle - posted on 02/09/2011

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My mother was born to Catholic parents and basically converted when she married my Jewish dad. We were raised being exposed to both sets of holidays, understanding that different parts of the family celebrated differently. We became more and more of a Jewish household, stopped having an Xmas tree and stockings to go with our menorah, but we still love going to my grandparents' to celebrate a secular Xmas with that side of the family. Now that I'm married to a non-practicing Christian man, we also do a secular Xmas with his family. We have an Xmas tree and lights at home, but we also have a menorah, and the tree decorations include blue and white lights and a Star of David on top. It's not exactly "kosher" but we're trying to find gentle ways to show our 4yo daughter that we believe in different faiths and express them in different holidays. I think your son will easily understand that while his family celebrates Hanukkah, his Daddy's parents celebrate something else, and it's ok to be with them to share in holiday. It can go both ways, too. My Catholic grandparents came proudly to my brother's bar mitzvah, they attended many seder's, and when I recited the mourner's kaddish at my grandmother's funeral, I know she would have been pleased to have it there along with the priest's Catholic words.

Wendy - posted on 11/24/2010

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I have had to celebrate both for a long time. My kids are just told over and over again that my sister(she converted) is not Jewish and we have different beliefs. We do a Chanukah dinner at my house and we get presents from my sister and then we go to her house Christmas eve and give everyone in her family their presents. This is all I can advise but kids are smart. Within a few years he will start understanding.

Andrea - posted on 11/18/2010

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Thank you so much for the advice. I hope all goes well for my baby boys first holiday season!

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