My Christian children are fascinated with the Jewish holiday Hanukkah, which begins this year at sundown on Wednesday.
My 9-year-old has loved Hanukkah since she was itty bitty. I think it stemmed from the “Elmo’s World Happy Holidays” DVD that explained the traditions of Christmas, Hanuakkah and Kwanza.
She would sing the dreidel song ad nauseam. She was obsessed with the menorahs. She would cobble together her own with candle sticks around the house. She could even tell you the special name for the shamash (attendant) candle.
Two years in Vacation Bible School they studied Jewish traditions made dreidels, menorahs and ate Passover foods. (I know different holiday but still Jewish.)
Last year my mom gave Rose the American Girl Rebecca Rubin Hanukkah set with a menorah with tiny little fake candles. Rose loves it. (This year she’s getting Rebecca from Mimi.)
My 3-year-old came in last night wishing us a very hearty Happy Hanuakkah. It took me a while to figure out that Rose showed her the Elmo DVD upstairs.
I have no problems with my kids learning about any other religion’s holidays. I guess I wouldn’t want them celebrating a religious holiday that was contrary to our religious beliefs. I don’t feel that Hanukkah is contrary to what our religion teaches.
Growing up I had a Jayne friend whose family seemed to have a Christmas tree each year. She always picked out excellent presents. We also have a Jewish friend who hosts his company’s annual Christmas party at his house.
Do your kids like another religion’s holiday in particular? Do they talk about or try to celebrate it at home? Do you let your kids celebrate Christmas since so many people are celebrating even if it’s not your religion’s holiday?
- By Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, Momania