We have a lot of holidays to celebrate around here. But somehow, it seems to catch up with us most around this season. See, the husband and I are Catholic and the boys have been baptized, and we are trying (I swear we are) to get to mass more often and to teach them about God and Jesus and faith and prayer. It’s been more difficult than I anticipated.
But anyway, I got away from my point. My father-in-law is Jewish, although he is not religious. My mother-in-law is from Italy and is Catholic. So between the two there are a lot of holidays! For the most part, I enjoy celebrating the Jewish holidays. As a Christian, I think having a Seder adds so much to the Easter season. I love Rosh Hashana, who wouldn’t love a sweet New Year.
However, at this time of year it seems to get a little excessive. Instead of beginning a season of fun and joy, for us Thanksgiving seems to usher in a season of rushing and exhaustion and just way too much. This past week we lit our menorah and read our advent calendar, sometimes together, each night. Last Friday we headed up to my in-laws for a Hanukkah dinner. It just gets a bit overwhelming for me: too many nights for the kids to stay up late, too many obligations, far too many unnecessary gifts for my kids.
Despite that, this year I tried to embrace it. I learned most of the Hanukkah prayer in Hebrew along with Brady and enjoyed the candles each night. We talked about why we celebrate and pray, which led to Brady’s invention of the Hanukkah ninja who gains his power from light and fights the evil Shadowman. It also sparked a lot of good discussion for us and spurred a bit of talk about God that I think we needed. Next year though, I think I may have to limit the get togethers and presents. I really think our holiday needs less, not more.