It’s November, which means I’m in December-mode! I’m putting away the pumpkins and breaking out my garlands and snowmen!
I’m kidding — Pumpkins will stay up through November. I’ll wait to start actually decorating for the winter holidays. Though it did snow last night, so it’s looking like we’ve hit the cold stretch!
Growing up we had a number of expressly Christmas decorations but most of ours were more winter themed. It was a combination of efficiency and business on my mother’s part. Decorate for a season rather than one holiday.
Since we’ve lived together we haven’t mastered the world of what our home looks like during the holidays. We haven’t totally figured out the best way to incorporate both.
December is just an exacerbated version of the rest of the year. There’s a ton of pressure on “the holidays.” But really, December is no different than the previous 11 months. We’re just trying to balance both sides. The decorating is no different than deciding if we’re going to display any Judaica or Christian based items in our home. For some reason though, December really ramps up that debate.
December tends to turn into a never-ending reminder that we’re not the same. Which at this point, I’m comfortable with. Nothing in life has given me greater joy than watching J on his first Christmas with my family. At that point, we’d been together for years. My parents bought him a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament for the tree that he gets to put on every year. It matched mine and my brother’s versions of the ornament. It’s a unique interfaith moment that I know my mom even treasures, getting to give someone their first introduction to traditions and customs they’ve never experienced.
I think we also feel pressure because this is our first holiday as a married couple and our first in our house.
This week with J being away again, my mom is coming to stay for the few days she has off. While I’m working, she’ll start the decorating process. She doesn’t want to offend either way so she’s working on all “winter.” I like having some Santas around (my favorite cookie jar has Santa flying a plane) but my mom will never put out anything that could be affiliated with Christmas. She never wants J to feel like she’s forcing anything.
We do have one ornament, but I don’t want to get an “Our First Christmas” ornament. For some reason, it seems like it’s excluding J. I know it goes on a Christmas tree, but I want him to feel like for this occasion he’s equally represented. I’ve requested a custom ornament from Fusioned Family on Etsy, a shop that has some great interfaith December gear.
I wasn’t expecting Etsy to have great interfaith options. There’s a whole shop Interfaith Living which has every day interfaith decorations, jewelry, and even clothes.
Even bigger stores like Modern Tribe, which I didn’t expect to have any interfaith options, including these Chrismukkah cookie cutters in an email blast which I’m for sure going to add to my cookie baking arsenal.
We’ll see how our first Chrismukkah married and in our house turns out! I’m already feeling the spirit!