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Wondering: What Do You Do About Christmas?

It probably would not surprise you to know that my family does not have a tradition of having Christmas trees in our house. When I was young, I did visit with my Christian friends, and enjoyed helping to "trim" their trees. My siblings married non-Jews, and have had beautiful trees in their homes, and a variety of Christmas observances as part of their family traditions. 

I know some Jewish families in Shreveport who never had a Christmas tree, but I also know some families in Shreveport who - even though no one in their family was Christian (at the time), did have Christmas trees and Christmas parties in their homes. 

It may surprise you to know that this year every child in the Religious School has at least one parent who was not born Jewish - most have parents who are not Jewish. Most of the children in our Religious School celebrate Christmas with their family (grandparents, etc.), and many have elements of Christmas in their own homes.

I think we need to understand and appreciate our multi-faceted traditions. 

This week I am wondering: Do you have traditions about Christmas in your family? Did they change over the years? Christmas is a Federal Holiday - do you have incites about how to celebrate it as a Jew?

My tradition still does not include celebrating Christmas. I am going to admit that most years I think I had eaten Chinese food for Christmas. This year Christmas falls on Shabbat. We realized that most families probably have plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning - so we are doing Shabbat services and Torah Study on Zoom. This way we can get together, but still stay at home. Whatever else you may be doing this Shabbat, you are welcome to join us. CLICK HERE to join the Zoom 6pm Friday for a Welcome Shabbat mini service; 9:45am Saturday (Torah Study); 11am Saturday (Shabbat morning service). 

You may be interested to read some examples of what Jews do on Christmas. There are many others. I always appreciated knowing that there are many Jews who cover for the Christians where they work - like doctors, for example. 

This one gives ideas about what to do, encouraging Jews to do Jewish things.
This one is from a few years ago, and talks about ways Jews have celebrated or contributed to the celebration of Christmas.
This is a recent one about a Rabbi that wound up with a Christmas Tree. 

Of course, you can also read responses to this Wonderings HERE to see what answers I received from our congregants. 

To send me your thoughts about this Wondering or any of the previous ones, you are welcome to reply to this email.

Remember that you can find previous Wondering questions and answers HERE. I appreciate everyone who has responded to my questions. It has been wonderful to be having discussions with you about the Wonderings.

Wed, June 29 2022 30 Sivan 5782