Sunday, December 03, 2006

Snowman in the Laundry Basket

Being Jewish (and young), my boys know very little about Christmas celebrations, secular or otherwise. Particularly, they know next to nothing about Santa, which is just fine with me. In fact, I knew that I was on the right track when a well-meaning woman at the grocery store asked Oldest Son (age 5), "What do you want Santa to bring you this year?"

Oldest Son: Santa?

Woman: Yes, what's Santa going to bring you for Christmas?

Oldest Son: Oh, we don't celebrate Christmas. We celebrate Chanukah. And guess what? We get to light candles and sing songs and tell stories and read books and play dreidel. I love to play dreidel! I can spin it all by myself! I can't wait for Chanukah!

Woman: Oh. Well, Mery Christmas.

I didn't even care about her Christmas wish after hearing all about our Chanukah celebrations. What I loved was how excited he was and how he never mentioned presents (which we do very little of, admittedly).

This was all reinforced days later when Oldest Son saw a huge inflatable yard decoration of Santa's legs and feet sticking out of a chimney. Now, both of my boys refer to Santa as a snowman (man in the snow - makes sense), and I haven't bothered to correct them.

Oldest Son: Look! A red snowman is upside down in a laundry basket. That's silly! [laughs] Hey Eema (Hebrew for "Mom"), are we gonna get to play dreidel again this year?

Me: Absolutely!


Anonymous said...

Someone is doing something correctly! Kol ha'kavod, Sheyna!

Anonymous said...

You know you're doing something right if the kids get a g'shmak out of their Jewishness. It is so key for Judaism to be about joy for them instead of a whole litany of don'ts.

Sheyna said...

Anonymous and Ayelet - thanks! I can't take all the credit; I think my kids are awesome in their own right. It is very satisfying, though, to know that they're looking for joy in the same places I am (family togetherness, community, special times). I hope this is a value they'll carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Kiwi the Geek said...

After all the kid said, I CAN'T BELIEVE she wished him Merry Christmas! I smacked my forehead! I'm a Christian, and I think it's silly to disallow the word "Christmas", but if you *know* somebody celebrates differently, get a clue!

PsychoToddler said...

Kiwi, there are alot of clueless folks out there who can't wrap their brains around the concept of some people not being Christians.

I had a lady come in today who asked me if I was "one of those people who doesn't believe in Jesus." Granted, she doesn't have a lot going on upstairs. And she wasn't being malicious either. She just couldn't understand how I could not believe in God.

I told her I do believe in God, I'm just not Christian. She had trouble with this (mind you, I wear a big freaking Yarmulke to work, that's why she asked in the first place). She wanted to know if I go to Church.

I told her I go to synagogue and pray to God twice a day, everyday. She was still very disappointed in me.

Kiwi the Geek said...

I'm aware of narrow minded people, but they still surprise me. I guess I can't wrap my brain around how they can be so stuck in one point of view. Some people need to learn history. I'm reminded of a Treppenwitz post titled "The sweet diversity of the incense".

Anonymous said...

There is finally a alternative for a Jewish inflatable in the front yard during Hanukkah.
Have fun and let's celebrate our holiday on our front yards too!