Thursday, November 21, 2013

Conquering the Holidays as an Interfaith Couple

For the first and last time in our lifetime, Hanukkah will begin on Thanksgiving this year.  The term Thanksgivukkah was quickly coined and has spread like wildfire.  I admit, I even bought a T-shirt to wear next week.  How can you deny how neat this is?  This article in the Chicago Tribune describes the positives and negatives of it perfectly:
It's a once-in-a-lifetime event that brings together two holidays, one sacred and one secular; two culinary traditions, both with a signature potato dish; and two guest lists, each with an unimpeachable claim to space at your dining room table.
This year we are spending Thanksgiving with my family, yet I don't foresee Thursday's dinner being any different than usual.   I, like most, absolutely love the idea on Thanksgivukkah. On the other hand, I don't want to take away from the sacred meanings of Hanukkah and the Thankfulness of Thanksgiving.  I do think that this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence is the perfect opportunity to have people outside of the Jewish faith over for Thanksgiving dinner.  Why not add a few Hanukkah traditions to your Thanksgiving dinner?  What better time to intertwine the two and teach them a few things about our faith?

In our house, this occurrence has brought up an entirely different issue. I am more than ready to decorate for Hanukkah, but we have an agreement that no Christmas decorations go up before Thanksgiving.  To make life easier, and not negate either religion, we try to both be supportive and make sure that neither religion is "left in the wind" or "overshadows" the other.

So will I decorate this weekend for Hanukkah and put up Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving?  I have no idea.  I want to be decorated for Hanukkah, even this week it feels weird that my Menorah and other decorations are still boxed up. On the other hand, all December decorations are stored together so I'll have to unpack the Christmas decorations at the same time.  Some Hanukkah decorations even end up on the Christmas tree.

I've also been thinking a lot about how we will celebrate once we have children. I know it will mostly be learning & deciding as we go, although we have already decided some of the major issues.

Do I have any interfaith fans out there? How are you handling the calendar this year?

1 comment:

  1. I grew up with both Hannukkah and Christmas. However, I'm not religious in any direction so now I just celebrate the "holiday season", which is my favorite time of the year! I hope you have a good Thanksgivukkah! My dad's side of the family is also celebrating that this year!