perfect moment monday: a jew at christmas

If you know much about my story, you know that I converted to Judaism before marrying my now ex (it’s official) husband.  Since converting marrying him, I hadn’t been with my family on Christmas.  This had more to do with the “marrying him” part than the “converting” part.  I have no problem hanging out with my family while they celebrate their holiday.  I have no problem participating in non-religious aspects of the holiday (like taking my niece shopping for gifts).  Mr. X, however, had a BIG problem with all of this.  He was rather threatened by my family’s Christianity, and refused to be around them at this time of year.  Even though we had a number of other couple-friends in which one (or both!) partners were converts and one or the other of the partners were rabbis or rabbis in training, and nobody else had this major issue with Christmas, Mr. X continued with his unbending stance.  He even said once that he wouldn’t want to be in my parents’ house if there was a Christmas tree there (though he would be in other people’s houses with Christmas trees…crazy).

The good news is, he is out of the picture, and for the first time since 2003, I was able to be with my family at Christmas.  I spent the weekend at my parents’ house.  My younger sister and her family were also there, and my older sister came over last night with her family and we had the family gift exchange.  For the first time in five years, I got to see my little people (all five of them together at once) opening Christmas gifts.  The whole scene was amazing and happy and crazy and beautiful.

Read about some other perfect moments over at Weebles Wobblog.

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11 responses to “perfect moment monday: a jew at christmas

  1. Sounds like more of a control issue than a religious issue.

    I’m glad you felt some joy at watching some happy gentiles.

    Love, Shiksa.

  2. I’m so glad you have gotten to experience the joy of family during the holidays again.

  3. I hope your 2010 is filled with similarly perfect moments. It sounds like you truly deserve a happy new year! 🙂 ICLW

  4. Sounded like a very much needed experience after everything you’ve been through. I’m glad you got to share that time with your family.

  5. So glad that your life is becoming more normal every day! Sounds like you had a great family gathering.

  6. That sounds so beautiful! I’m very happy that you got to spend time with your family.
    *HUGS*

  7. I know how much Christmas with my family means to me. I am so glad you are able to be with yours again. Merry Christmas!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful moment. I’m glad you got to enjoy it.

  9. It’s wonderful that you were able to spend this Christmas with your family!!!! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself!!!

  10. I’ve written a bit about my experiences with Christmas as a Jewish wife and mother (http://bit.ly/budgetxmas) if you want to read it.
    For years as a teenager and through college, I went to my best friend’s home for an incredible Italian-American Catholic Christmas Eve party, rubbing shoulders with her family and priests from the local diocese, eating amazing traditional food and exchanging gifts. I had been to the local Dutch Reformed church for their Christmas Eve service with other friends as a child. I even went caroling. I never asked my parents why we couldn’t do the same. It was clear that Chanukah was our holiday and we invited non-Jewish friends to our home for a latke party.

    The one thing I can’t stand about religion is how some (not all) people use it to divide us from each other; loved ones, friends, neighbours, classmates, colleagues and clubs. In the temple we belong to, the rabbis teach tolerance and acceptance of others’ beliefs and lifestyles. We joined there because its philosophy and practices aligned with our own values. We don’t choose our friends based upon their religious beliefs.

    I don’t do Christmas trees in the house or lit-up multicolour Santas outside. I tend to send New Years cards rather than Christmas cards. I explain to the kids why Christmas isn’t technically our holiday, but with respect for its meaning. It sounds like your ex-husband was a control freak and I congratulate you for getting out. I’m glad to hear that you could finally have the Christmas you wanted. But, as one Jewish woman to another, I hope that your marital experiences haven’t poisoned you against the more humanitarian, tolerant aspects of the religion and that you find room in your heart for both Judaism and Christianity.

    Lisa (Your Great Life – ICLW #51)

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