Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Compromise

I've been kind of hesitant to write this post considering I'm still conflicted on the whole subject. But hopefully by actually articulating some of my confusions it can help me see a little bit clearer. It starts out simple in a way, this year we have our first Christmas tree.
Coincidentally it's also our first engaged Christmas which only makes me wonder about the years to come. It's hard for me because I'm Jewish, so not only is this our first Christmas tree, it's actually my first Christmas tree as well.

In a way I brought this whole thing on myself. My mom converted to Judaism, which to me meant that while we didn't have Christmas in our home I was still able to celebrate the holiday at my grandparents' or at my Aunt and Uncle's. I figured this was the best idea, and that I would find a guy who would convert for me so that my children would still get to celebrate Christmas with their extended family but that they would be Jewish.

I accomplished my first goal, since the boy is Catholic, except he isn't planning on converting. We have discussed this (over and over even) and the compromise is that I'll be raising the kids Jewish. But while we can talk about this all we went, it's hard to know what exactly this means, and how it will develop or change as time passes.

But this year the boy wanted to have a tree. It's really the first year it made sense since we've been living together since the last 2 years we've been in the process of moving. And while I can admit that having the tree in the house is pretty, I'm still not completely ok with. I feel like being Jewish and having a Christmas tree, is almost a way of saying, "my religion isn't good enough so I need a part of yours." I don't feel that way, but I think my worry is that other people will think that. Which I admit is kind of silly, but it's hard to shake.

But even if I'm not completely there on accepting the fact there's a Christmas tree in our home, I know how happy it makes the boy. And isn't that, wanting to make your significant other happy, so much what marriage is about?


  1. To me a tree is a holiday decoration. If a tree means holidays to him, we have a tree. To me it's not a statement of anyone's religion. I'm probably in the minority though.

  2. I agree with the above poster - a tree does not symbolize religion to me, it symbolizes holidays!

    I think it's great that you compromised with him :) Good for you.

    Try (I know it's hard) but TRY not to hold onto what other people think. If you're OK with the tree that's all that matters. YOU know you're not compromising your own religion at all!

  3. I would have to agree with the first poster as well. Just because you have a tree it doesn't mean that you're saying your religion isn't good enough. It's just a decoration.

  4. Coming to an agreement on religions is so difficult... I know it's hard, but just you are compromising by having a tree in your home, he is making a compromise by agreeing to have his children raised Jewish... So it's all give and take... Try not to let the fact that you have a tree in your house take away from the fact that you are Jewish... And like others have said, a tree isn't as much of a religious symbol as having a nativity scene or something like that...

    Good luck,so tough to navigate things like this!

  5. Hey lady, It's a beautiful picture, seeing both those symbols of joy and faith side by side. If your only gripe is with the naysayers (and you don't happen to be one of them) then pooh pooh 'em. You know what your faith means to you. No one can take it away. Hugs!