Holiday Traditions – Christmas Eve

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​Before we moved and had children, my husband and I would spend Thanksgiving with my parents and Christmas Eve and Day with his parents. My sister always alternated Thanksgiving with her in-laws and I thought our way made things much simpler and fair for everyone since my family didn’t celebrate Christmas. After we moved and decided to stay home with our kids for Christmas so they could wake up in their own house, things changed for us, but we still kept several, if not all of my husband’s family’s traditions that my husband  brought to our family.  Continue reading

Holiday Traditions – Chanukah

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I’ve written recently about how I celebrated Chanukah as a child and growing up. I’ve included two of those links below. Some of those traditions I’ve brought to my own family, but because of our interfaithness I’ve added and tweaked some of them over the years.

In some ways it was easier to celebrate Jewish holidays while growing up Jewish in primarily Jewish neighborhood. In those early, formative years, our neighbors were mostly Jewish, and so we all celebrated the same things. It wasn’t until moving at the end of fifth grade that my new friends celebrated something different. I don’t even recall if the schools were closed on Christmas before; I imagine they must have been, but  it wasn’t until my own kids were young that I realized that schools didn’t close for the High Holy Days. I would keep my own kids home, and the only time there was a dispute with the school was when my middle son went to kindergarten and the first day of school was to be on Rosh Hashanah. I discovered another Jewish family and I joined them at the Board of Education meeting to change the first day of school. We did. But it was met with a plethora of excuses on why they should not change the status quo. It was demoralizing and it instilled in me a more vocal advocacy than I’d had before.

As the only Jewish family in our schools or the only Jewish teacher when I taught, it’s fallen to me to have to explain Chanukah, and unfortunately the expectation is usually how it fits into Christmas, which of course, it doesn’t. It would even be doubtful if Jesus observed/celebrated Chanukah; It’s always been considered a minor holiday.

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Election Reflection

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​Well, it’s been six weeks since Election Day. I have been reading and sifting through news stories, and I cannot fathom a Trump presidency. Obviously, this is something that we all need to wrap our heads around because it’s here, and it’s here to stay.

That much is clear.

As much as I thought that perhaps the Republicans were true Americans and patriots, I think I am mistaken. Senators John McCain and Chuck Schumer led the fight to investigate Russia’s election interference amid rank and file Republicans, the Trump transition team, and President-Elect Trump himself decrying the partisanship and sour grapes.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed for my country in my life.

Now, Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan have jumped on board, but I fear that their acquiescence is simply to slow things down. They weren’t interested before, and they had seen the intelligence briefings, so what changed?

We, the people, spoke up and said, No.

Now, we have transition members meeting with an Austrian opposition group founded by the Nazis. Not neo-Nazis, not alt-right, but the literal, actual Nazis.

We’re already fighting with China.

Mr. Trump’s sons are selling access to him one day after the inauguration for millions of dollars. For charity. Yeah, like all their other charitable works.

Trump has admitted to buying hedgefund stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and his Secretary of Treasury Designee announced one day after his nomination that his intention is to privatize them both. Do you have any idea how much money the President-Elect made from that announcement and the stock going up.

He tweeted about Boeing and Lockheed Martin and their stocks went down. And people bought them up at bargain prices. Some people began to sell their stock right before the tweet. Boeing lost $4 Billion in less than an hour.

Now, we’ll allow insider trading, I guess because according to Newt Gingrich, it’s not Trump, it’s the constraining ethics laws that need changing. Or ignoring.

He hasn’t had a press conference since the middle of July.

This presidency is already a disaster.

Has anyone seen what’s going on in North and South Carolina? NC stripped the incoming governor of his powers because the Republican governor lost. SC is trying to pass a law that you must pay a $20 fee to access pornography on a newly bought computers

What’s happening to our first amendment?

Merry Christmas shouldn’t be used as a dagger. My priest says Happy Holidays, and everyone he’s talking to from the pulpit is Catholic for crying out loud. Is he being politically correct?

I’m stunned.

I’m speechless.

I’m worried, and frightened, and have much more to say in smaller, bite-sized chunks.

For now, sleep well. The holidays are here, and it is family time. Everything else will come when it comes. Right now, it’s time to take a breath and look at what we are being called to in the new year.