Happy Couple Tip: Don't Celebrate Chrismukkah

Jennifer Cullen
5

Christmas dreidelDo you have a Hanukkah bush in your house? Spin the dreidel in front of a nativity scene? Or light the kinara while eating latkes?

If you and your partner are different religions, it's time to start considering how you're going to spend the holidays.

Do you take the separate but equal route? Do you have one big celebration combining the two? Or do you create your own holiday like the celebration of Festivus on Seinfeld?

My husband is Catholic and I'm Jewish. Neither of us is very observant but we both celebrate our respective religious holidays throughout the year.

Especially in the month of December.

We get a Christmas tree every year and decorate it as a family because not only is my second husband Catholic, but my kids, from my first marriage, are half Catholic. And I want to be a part of their traditions.

In addition, this year we'll be hosting my husband's family for Christmas Eve dinner.

By the same token, my husband fully supports our family celebration of the eight nights of Hanukkah, even making a celebratory meal of latkes and brisket. A better brisket than I ever made.

Being involved in each other's religious celebrations is a way to be closer and goes a long way in showing respect for each other's different upbringings. And I really enjoy it.

So what are some ways the two of you can be inclusive in your celebrations?

Separate but Equal: Keep your different celebrations separate but celebrate them with the same amount of intensity. I don't like to mix the holidays. I'll never have a Hanukkah bush or blue and white lights outside my house. Call me a purist.

Educate: Use the opportunity to share with your partner what was so special about your celebrations when you were growing up. What were your favorite memories? What does this time mean to you now?

Togetherness: Celebrate each of your holidays together. And be inclusive of each other's family and friends. Just because you are a part of a religious celebration that isn't yours doesn't mean that you're doing a disservice to your own religion.

If you're in a dual-religion marriage, how do you celebrate the winter holidays in your home?

 

Image via somethingmarissa/Flickr


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