Wednesday, December 12, 2012


All the stepmom articles, books, etc., love to point out how difficult the holidays are for blended families & I guess I'll get my real taste of that this year pretty soon.  Right now, I was thinking about how a smooshed family such as ours looks at the various celebrations out there.  My son & I are Jewish & light a Menorah, which we are currently doing in or window that looks out on all of the Xmas lights that I discussed in the last blog post.  But Xing Fu's kids are Christian so do we put up a tree, hang tinsel around the house & sing Christmas carols?  My ex is Christian & we never had a tree, deciding that his parents' house was enough tree & Xmas for the kid. I always bought a wreath--not one that was decidedly Xmassy, but one that sorta said, "Happy Holidays."  We did the latkes & Hanukkah at our house.  So at least he had both traditions.  Now, in our new family dynamic, we discussed the tree possibility & decided that since his kids weren't going to be around for Christmas, who would appreciate it anyway?  And, we don't have decorations for it either. I still hang the wreath, though.  I like how it feels celebratory. So, the decision was no tree & no decorations.  But, conundrum!  When do we pass out the presents?  And are they Christmas presents, Hanukkah presents, or some other variant like Kwanzaa? Hence, Christmakwanzakkah.

What will be our celebration?  There's Yule.  Which I just learned about at a Paula Poundstone show last Saturday.  Couldn't have planted a better person in the audience than this dude! He celebrates Yule.  Not the yule log but the celebration created by the Germanic peoples & apparently celebrated by neopagans.  It falls on the 21st (the end of days if you're a Mayan) & runs through January 1st. Of course Yule was integrated into Christianity so there are remnants of course--the yule log, e.g.  Yule is really a celebration of the solstice so that could be a fun time to have our family celebration....

Then there's "Festivus...for the rest of us." Created by the Seinfeld folk--Festivus is generally celebrated on December 23rd. There's the aluminum pole as an direct opposite to holiday commercialism, the airing of grievances, the Festivus Dinner, & the feats of strength. So here are a few other celebratory options.  Now we just have to choose a day to exchange our gifts & have a feast.... 

If I see one more potato latke I'm gonna brechen...made 60 latkes for my son's Christian school so they could experience a little Jewish culture.  Not a bad thing--there are about 10 of us making them so all of the boys can try.  Oy, the smell in my house!

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