Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tales of December

Every December there are tales I tell my children.  Because I want them to feel included in the festivities of the season, and not rejected.

I tell my kids that the pretty lights they see on all the houses are there because it gets dark out early, and people want pretty lights to help light up the night.  I don't want to tell my children that these are christmas lights. I don't want any lights we may put up on our house to be for Christmas.  I want them to be festive and mean holiday joy.

I tell my kids that Santa is a jolly guy who visits Christians to celebrate their holiday of Christmas. I avoid any conversation of presents, or where he came from. I don't want my daughters to think that presents come from Santa. Not only because we don't believe in Santa, but also because I think it devalues the gifts and money we spend on our kiddos.  Working Dad works hard each day to support our family to get the money to buy these things.  I work hard to choose the items, get them, wrap them, etc. to make the holiday fun for all of us.  It's not some man in the North pole who sees you while you sleep (creepy...!)

I change the radio station when Christmas songs come on. 

I focus on the snowy songs, and try to talk up our trip to Tahoe where we will visit the snow soon.

I weave tales of the holidays to suit our family.  Because for me the December Dilema is very real.  There is a real feeling of being left out, forgotten, and out of place during this season.  And it's starting earlier and earlier each year. 

I don't want my kids to feel left out, and certainly being at a Jewish Daycare helps with that situation, but overall, it's a hard time of year.

So, we bake cookies.  We play dreidel.  We celebrate Christmas with Working Dad's family.  We try to make each day work, as well as we can.

How do you do December?


  1. Love this statement: "I don't want my daughters to think that presents come from Santa. Not only because we don't believe in Santa, but also because I think it devalues the gifts and money we spend on our kiddos." Gifts often are about kindness and often sacrifice and it truly does devalue them when we give the credit to a mythical figure.

    1. I truly feel your pain. No matter how hard I try the feeling of left out never goes away. I have no connection to the music, the lights, or the movies. The "holiday season" is really just the Christmas season with a hint of Jew. The entire month of December is just one giant Facebook reminder that you are the minority. Every post of someone complaining that they have to say "Happy Holidays" is a post of someone forgetting you exist. Even at Disneyland we've become nothing but suggestion. When I was a kid you were able to buy all kinds of Chanukah things at the park, and every year there were new and exciting things to add to your collection. Now we exist on small shelf with a banner, a plate, and some cups that are pretty but could be used for anything by anyone. This is the same exact mess they had last year. While looking at this trying to calm the disappointment I was feeling two girls walked by looked the section and said "Why bother?" "Its like Disney is just throwing them a bone." They laughed and walked away. Their words however rang so true. None of these things are really Chanukah related. I mean yes a banner and a plate can be nice, but how is there not one single dreidel or menorah? You know something that actually connects to the holiday? I know I've turned this into a rant, and I'm sorry for that. I just think it's such a sad thing that you have to work so hard to protect your kids from these feelings in a country that is supposed to be all encompassing.
      Good Luck, and Happy Chanukah to you and your family!

    2. This is exactly the problem- and it's so hard not to feel left out. As a parent I'm trying hard to help my daughters have good associations- without my negative ones. But it's practically impossible not to have these feelings, especially as the 'holiday' (aka Christmas) season creeps earlier and earlier. I know exactly what you mean about 'Happy Holidays.' It's hard for people to remember that we are here, and to care equally about us. Of course, it also doesn't help that Chanukah isn't really that important a holiday, when you get to the religious aspects of it....


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