Reporter: How does your interfaith family celebrate the holidays?

We talked last week about how much my Christian kids love Hanuakkah but we didn’t really talk about how interfaith families actually handle the holidays. AJC reporter Sheila Poole is working on a story about how interfaith families navigate this season and would love to interview you for her story. She wants to know: How do you celebrate Christmas if you spouse is Jewish or Muslim or a nonbeliever? You can email Shelia at spoole@ajc.com or call her at (404) 5265488. You can also discuss here.


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Susan Katz Miller

December 12th, 2010
7:55 am

Check out my blog, onbeingboth.com, where I have many posts about how interfaith families who celebrate two religions observe all the holidays.

Cammi317

December 13th, 2010
11:26 am

I am Muslim and my ex is Christian. When she was younger he would buy her Easter baskets, etc and attempt to share his beliefs with her. One year he took her and her younger 1/2 sister to see Santa and I still proudly display the picture in my home. He would participate in our Eid feasts as well when she was younger. It has always been fine with me that she learn about both religions, although we agreed that she would be raised Muslim. As she has gotten older, he has pretty much stopped attempting to include her in his religious activities or participating in ours. She still calls him to tell him Happy Easter and Merry Christmas because she understands that these holidays are important to him and his beliefs. He will call and tell her Happy Eid as well, but that is about as far as it goes. Her birthday is the day after Christmas so I am pretty that although he doesn’t say it aloud, that in his mind her gifts are for both and that is fine with me.

Come on Son

December 14th, 2010
10:22 am

This is a challenging situation with adults but once kids are involved, it can become too hot to handle. The PBS show, Sid the Science kid had a great show on this top, Sid’s mother is AA and celebrates Kwanzaa and Christmas and his father is Jewish and celebrates Hanukah.

In the real world I do not know how you would navigate religious holidays when the family is comprised of various faiths. I believe this is why Halloween has become such a big event; it is a fun event that nearly everyone can participate in. Also why Thanksgiving becomes the major family event because it is in the holiday season and everyone can enjoy the family fellowship without a heavy emphasis on faith (if there are various faiths in the family).

Although I am sure people who fall in love discuss how they will handle these situations in advance, speculation and real life are two different things. Remember the case in Chicago when the the father was Christian and the mother was Jewish. They agreed to raise the child Jewish but once they divorced the mother tried to get the father jailed for taking the child to church when she visited him.

We often create our own chaos.