The December Dilemma

Whether you ignore Christmas altogether, use it as an excuse for movie and Chinese food or celebrate it with non-Jewish friends or family, the holiday provokes a lot of emotions.

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When is Hanukkah 2016? Click here to find out!

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a time when many American Jews, even those who are not religiously observant or do not think often about their Jewish identity, feel conscious of being Jewish and not being part of the Christian majority.

Whether you ignore Christmas altogether (not so easy amid the commercials, office parties, holiday decorations etc.), use it as an excuse to go to a movie and eat Chinese food, or celebrate it with non-Jewish friends or family, the holiday — and its proximity to Hanukkah — can provoke a lot of emotions. Parents often feel pressure to make Hanukkah extra elaborate to quell their children’s (or their own) Christmas envy. For interfaith families in particular, December can be a stressful time, demanding decisions about whether to celebrate one or both holidays and how to deal with hurt feelings or disapproval from extended family.

Below are some articles (from a wide range of perspectives) and resources for those grappling with, or simply wanting to learn more about, the “dilemma.” Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments section.

General

History of Jews and Christmas

Taking the Christmas Out of Hanukkah

Ask the Expert: Should I Go to My Office’s Christmas Party?

The Jews Who Did Christmas

How to Lose the Chip on Your Shoulder During Christmas

When You Feel Like the Only Kid in Town Without a Christmas Tree

For Interfaith Families

Two great resources for interfaith families (and not just at Christmas time) are InterfaithFamily and Big Tent Judaism (formerly known as the Jewish Outreach Institute). InterfaithFamily offers a Guide to December Holidays for Interfaith Families along with numerous blog posts/essays about navigating the December holidays.

Holiday Guidelines for Interfaith Families

Enough Already With the Christmas Wars!

The Great Hanukkah Christmas Debate Roundup

The Interfaith Evergreen Dilemma

How We Celebrate Both Hanukkah and Christmas

A Rabbi’s Take on the Whole Celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah Thing

Actually You Can’t Celebrate Both Hanukkah and Christmas

Out of the Home for Christmas

My Family Tree is Loaded With Tinsel

 

 

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santa and hanukkah

When is Hanukkah 2016? Click here to find out!

The weeks leading up to Christmas are a time when many American Jews, even those who are not religiously observant or do not think often about their Jewish identity, feel conscious of being Jewish and not being part of the Christian majority.

Whether you ignore Christmas altogether (not so easy amid the commercials, office parties, holiday decorations etc.), use it as an excuse to go to a movie and eat Chinese food, or celebrate it with non-Jewish friends or family, the holiday — and its proximity to Hanukkah — can provoke a lot of emotions. Parents often feel pressure to make Hanukkah extra elaborate to quell their children’s (or their own) Christmas envy. For interfaith families in particular, December can be a stressful time, demanding decisions about whether to celebrate one or both holidays and how to deal with hurt feelings or disapproval from extended family.

Below are some articles (from a wide range of perspectives) and resources for those grappling with, or simply wanting to learn more about, the “dilemma.” Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments section.

General

History of Jews and Christmas

Taking the Christmas Out of Hanukkah

Ask the Expert: Should I Go to My Office’s Christmas Party?

The Jews Who Did Christmas

How to Lose the Chip on Your Shoulder During Christmas

When You Feel Like the Only Kid in Town Without a Christmas Tree

For Interfaith Families

Two great resources for interfaith families (and not just at Christmas time) are InterfaithFamily and Big Tent Judaism (formerly known as the Jewish Outreach Institute). InterfaithFamily offers a Guide to December Holidays for Interfaith Families along with numerous blog posts/essays about navigating the December holidays.

Holiday Guidelines for Interfaith Families

Enough Already With the Christmas Wars!

The Great Hanukkah Christmas Debate Roundup

The Interfaith Evergreen Dilemma

How We Celebrate Both Hanukkah and Christmas

A Rabbi’s Take on the Whole Celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah Thing

Actually You Can’t Celebrate Both Hanukkah and Christmas

Out of the Home for Christmas

My Family Tree is Loaded With Tinsel

 

 

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