Now, it's not all their fault. I own a cat. A delightful, adorable little creature that I bought when I moved into my first apartment. Unfortunately, my wonderful Sister-in-Law is allergic, so there goes any chance of hosting them at my house. that's not to say she hasn't come to visit, because she has. She just can't go inside. And, as she'll remind me- technically I lit my chanukkiah at their house once- a long time ago, before I was Aunt Elizabeth.
This was the first time that the whole family gathered around and we had a get together that was almost specifically for Chanukah. The reality is that it was for the boat parade in Newport beach, but since it was Chanukah, and not Christmas, we decided that it would be appropriate to celebrate together...
As you may know, Ocho is named so because she was the eighth grandchild born to my husband's parents. Here's Ocho and the Niner, each with the special man in their lives... Daddy. With so many kiddos running around we had to have lots of activities. I brought coloring cards (pottery barn a few years ago), and of course, we had dreidel to play.
My oldest niece H was ready to test out her dreidel skills. She worked hard to win win win. For Great Grandpa it was his first time playing, and I'm so blessed that he didn't really hesitate to get involved and try his hand at the game. Imagine all of them trying to learn the letters to an alphabet they have no connection to- all in an attempt to win the most chocolate.
The evening was fun, if full of ironies...
We lit the Chanukkiah (I was to busy lighting to grab a photo, but one will arrive when I get one from my Father-in-law), and sang some songs.
How does your interfaith family share the holidays? Do you celebrate with each side together? Do you go to theirs, do they come to yours? I loved celebrating Chanukah with Working Dad's side this way. For so many years we've gone to Christmas, but this year felt like the first time we are really sharing the holidays equally. Even though the boat parade only featured Christmas. Even though there were poinsettas decorating the tables, it felt like the whole family was gathering around us, warming to our traditions and allowing us to be part of the celebration.
And at the same time, it allows EG to have positive happy memories with Christmas. Of time with family, of connectedness and togetherness. Of love and laughter, joy and peace.