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Jewish Adoptive Families

Being a Jewish/blended family as Hannukah starts on Christmas Eve

Hannukah and Christmas have always been celebrated in our family—our kids came older (8 to 14) and not Jewish (nor is my husband, who was raised Catholic but now identifies as an atheist). We didn’t think it was fair to force anyone to convert, but did want them to be exposed to Jewish holidays and traditions. Sadly Hannukah is probably the one most preserved, though our youngest daughter, who’s been the latke maker for years, also makes really good matzo balls.
Anyway, our oldest daughter is a sort of fallen away Catholic, older son is some sort of Protestant, usually depending a lot on his current partner, middle daughter used to identify as atheist or agnostic, but is now working for a business run by an evangelical Christian sect, so who knows. Youngest daughter is Christian & actually goes to churce, but also the one most connected to Jewish hols, at least through food. She is ready to light her menorah this year, however, having actually moved into a house long enough to unpack. Our youngest son has always identified as Wiccan, but is now asking to be converted to Judaism. 
As you can tell, it’s a mishugass!
Anyway, most years we have celebrated Hannukah, then hung Christmas stockings if it’s after Thanksgiving.  This year it’s much more complicated, though since they’re all adults living on their own we’re not in charge.
We’ve always had at least a couple of nights of Hannukah with guests, including one where kids could invite frineds. I’m hoping to do that this year, but because we’re both in our 70s & our house is really cluttered I’m not sure we can pull it off.
We have sometimes taken food & a menorah to freinds’ houses, occasionally even to a restaurant, so may give that a whirl.
When only our older 2 had moved out we used to have Christmas eve dinner at out favorite Chinese buffet, followed by stocking & dessert at home. As the family’s grown & scattered that no longer works, so we’ve switched to Christmas day usually with older daughter & her fam. But this year Hannukah starts on Christmas Eve! 
I think we will have the first night, and probably the second, by ourselves, then try to celebrate with friends and family as much as possible before New Year’s eve—complicated by my birthday being that Thursday!
We’re still working out traditions with our adult children—moves and in-laws figure prominently, but everyone seems to be on board with doing something, even long-distance.  Maybe we’ll get everyone on one of the video phoning probgrams to light candles one night—I wonder whether that’s possible.
I’d love to hear how other blended families are handling this season!


Hi! Thank you for sharing.
We have a pre-schooler and this year was fun. We have a few books about celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah. I like the one called Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama. It mixes up the holidays which I think works for us.
Happy holidays to you and your family!

Posted by Supdub on Jan 01, 2017 at 6:06pm

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