The Buddhist Jew Who Loves Christmas
It’s that holiday time of year. I do LOVE the holidays (although it’s hard to feel holiday-like when it’s in the 80s outside!). My favorite thing is parties and gatherings with folks I love. It seems more fitting when it’s cold and snowy, makes things feel cozy. But it works in Florida too. So while there’s no way I’ll see a white Christmas this year (unless it’s starring Bing and Danny) I’m still excited.
You might be wondering about the title of this post. And the picture (I couldn’t find the one where I had a menorah too). A little about myself. I consider myself a Buddhist Jew – philosophically Buddhist and culturally Jewish. It’s just what makes sense to me. And growing up on Cape Cod, along with a Christian grandfather, I got used to Christmas from a pretty early age. I LOVE CHRISTMAS TREES. And Christmas music. And waking up on Christmas morning, dressed in warm pjs, having a delicious breakfast and coffee while opening presents. LOVE IT. And I love Hanukkah. When I was little, my parents would invite over my non-Jewish friends (well, I didn’t really have Jewish friends, so I guess we just invited my friends over) and would share Hanukkah with them.
So all of these traditions have been rolled together. In St. Louis (where none of my friends were Jewish) I’d have a Hanukkah party and teach them to play dreidel. We’d have bagels and lox, latkes, and corned beef on rye, light the menorah, and sit around the tree drinking mulled wine.
The last few years have had lots of travel, so it’s taken some time to develop new traditions. My husband and I are working on getting our holidays to compliment both of us. I haven’t had a tree the last few years, so I’ve created a new holiday decoration, the menorah-tree!
I’m still working on a better name for it, but you get the idea. This is how someone who loves Christmas trees (it’s a USE for knick-knacks!) does a menorah.
If there are any fabulous holiday recipes this year, they’ll definitely get posted. My holiday traditions are continually getting tweaked. What are your favorite holiday traditions?