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- My Mini Digital Detox – by Anna Bell
Despite being Jewish, we have done Christmas lunch for as long as I can remember.
I love Christmas, I love the lights, the decorations, and the present giving. It all started when we were growing up we used to go to our family friends where my “uncle” was jewish and my “aunt” was not and Christmas was her festival so it was a proper Christmas, including giving presents. Her tree was real and beautifully decorated and I think this is where my love of the festive season has come from.
Since I’ve had kids I’ve loved it more. Despite my kids going to a Jewish school and being taught nothing up Judaism THEY get excited by the Christmas wintery spirit. I haven’t actually pushed it because of their schooling but its very difficult to get away from it all. It is wherever you look. On TV. In the shops. On the streets.
This year I was nominated as Christmas lunch bearer. I was SO excited. Except for one thing – the cost – a kosher turkey is very expensive! My mother is kosher so I had to do it for her. The other family members were not but still, t’is the mother. Must do as the mother requires. I did goose fat potatoes for everyone else and separate ones for the mother. And all the “kosher” trimmings!!
So what do we say to our kids that have just celebrated 8 days of Chanukah and got some lovely presents who then except Christmas presents as well? Well! I told my dad who had brought them a present to just bring it on the day. My husband said I was wrong to have said that but I said I didn’t want the kids to learn,that Santa got them presents, even thought it’s a bloody good threat for December “if you’re not good you won’t go on Santa’s good list”! OK slightly hypocritical but a mamma’s gotta do what a mamma’s gotta do! Anyway, in the end my husband said that he had told Santa to bring all their presents on Chanukah as we don’t celebrate Christmas and that maybe Grandpa would ask Santa if he had left one for the kids at their fireplace. I mean talk about mixed messages!
To be honest. I think religion for a 6.5 year old and 4.5 year old – unless consistent is a bit difficult for them to get! We do what we feel comfortable with. As does my mother much to both our frustrations. I made an effort to make a kosher turkey and non goose fat potatoes for her, but my Baileys chocolate mousse clearly had cream in it – for those unsure of this rule but it is against our religion to mix meat and milk! I figured seeing as I had gone to some efforts to do that for my mum she would at least just eat the fruit salad but no she couldn’t resist my mousse!
I think it’s important to say that everybody’s beliefs are different. Everyone does what they feel comfortable with. I was brought up very traditional and in a kosher home but say the word religion and I can’t help but rebel. Don’t know why but I do. Even as a married woman with children. It’s in my nature. My husband thinks Costco on a Saturday is Temple enough for him – need I say more! Our children will do what they want and no doubt make their own decisions but until that day a kosher Christmas will still be on the cards because if nothing else it’s a lovely happy fulfilled day of family and food!
How was your Christmas? Do you have any unusual mixed faith traditions?