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Need to know about Judaism ASAP


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We have Jewish friends, but live far enough from them that we do not usually see them this time of year. Well, we have plans with them tonight. I am trying to research Hannukah so I say or do nothing stupid tonight. And then one of the kids is spending the night. I would like that child to know a thing or two. Also...why do I never see Happy Hannukah cards? I am researching all over the internet, but mostly getting history of the religion. I need to know exactly what applies to this time of year. And is there much chance they would celebrate a secular Christmas? Or should we avoid the topic of Christmas? Do they exchange gifts or have other traditions now? I need to know how it is celebrated now, not 100 years ago. I suspect kids do more than play with a Dreidel.

 

Does this look accurate?  http://brooklyn.about.com/od/Xmas-Hanukah-Kwanzaa-New-Year/a/8-Hanukkah-Dos-And-Do-Nots-For-Non-Jews-What-To-Give-Jewish-Friends-For-Hanukkah.htm

Edited by Janeway
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I have Jewish friends who run the whole gamut from celebrating Christmas to being fairly offended by its existence.  I don't think you can predict this based on denomination either.  And Chanukah is over for this year.

 

My suggestion would be to have a festive meal, not do anything in particular to decorate, and kind of ignore the seasonal aspects of this time.  Enjoy the company, not the season.

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Can't speak for your friends but if it were me and my family:

 

1.  I wouldn't expect you to make anything special for Hanukah, especially since it's over  and my kids already got PLEEENTY of things all 8 nights :)

2.  I would be perfectly fine with you talking about and doing Christmas stuff around us

3.  Unless I was keeping Kosher, I wouldn't expect any particular meal

 

My kids know that we don't celebrate Christmas but other people do.  They are allowed to watch whatever Christmas movie they want and even sing the songs.  As a matter of fact, we just went to see The Christmas Story bc it's my husband's favorite "Christmas"  move and he watches it every year.  And for some unknown (to me) reason they LOOOVE Caillou Christmas special.  Kids  know there won't be a tree at OUR house.   They can enjoy other people's trees as much as they want.

 

Just bc we have a different religion and take our religious seriously and celebrate our holidays and observe certain things, I would not want to shelter the kids from how other people celebrate their holidays.

 

Celebrating good happy things is good!!!  We need more of it.

 

ETA:  the only thing is my kids also know that Santa is not real, so if your kids still believe in Santa, I would need to know that ahead of time so I can tell them not to say anything

 

 

 

Edited by SereneHome
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Jews are like everybody else. Their customs and traditions vary wildly from subgroup to subgroup and family to family. And I'm sure your friends know you celebrate Christmas and don't expect you to pretend otherwise for their sake :)

 

On the plus side, Hanukkah is over, so you can completely forget about it for this year.

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