The kids hadn’t even finished their Halloween candy and I was already getting excited for the holiday season. It started when I was a little girl and I would come down to South Florida to visit my grandparents. I would come back with a Jewish tan: dark on the front, pale on the back. When I went to college, I loved coming home and going shopping, having my mom cook and do my laundry for me and getting a break from school.
Now, as I have my own family, this is also a favorite time of the year. My ex-husband wasn’t Jewish so I was able to get the coveted Christmas tree which became the highlight for me, another place to make something pretty. After I divorced, I kept the tradition of the Christmas tree (don’t call the Jewish police). Rather than worry about my perfectly matched ornaments and bows, I let my children pick out the tree theme. They did what every child does: the multicolor lights and ornaments. I embraced my new kid-friendly themed tree in exchange for my sophisticated tree of the past. My holidays now became about the experience instead of what the holiday looked like. My perfect tree topper was now a crooked ornament that has never quite fit, but it is magical.
I love everything about the holidays. I love to shop for everyone’s presents, picking out the tree, decorating the tree, making potato latkes and seeing all the children tear open their presents with anticipation.
This holiday season, try to do one thing new that is super fun that can be a new tradition with your family. Maybe something goofy, or a tree that’s just for your kids. Maybe let them each pick out an ornament, or if you celebrate a different holiday, create a dish that you and your kids pick out and make together every year.
Remember that holidays can be difficult for people so be considerate. While these times often come with stress, remember the beauty that surrounds this time. It is a time of miracles and celebration.
Wishing you very happy holidays!