Skip to main content

Light Your Faith(s): A Guest Post #LightTheWorld

Photo: An Advent calendar hangs on a wall next to an interactive Hanukkah banner


The final focus of the #LightTheWorld campaign is Light Your Faith. If it were possible, I would invite each of you to attend a special, one-hour Christmas service with me on December 23. Our ward's choir is preparing some really great music, and I would love for you to hear it. However, as you live all over the world, the next best thing would be to invite you to a service in your local area. If you go to the LightTheWorld website and scroll down, on the right hand side you will find a link to locate a congregation near you. If you decide to go, I'd love to hear about it!

For this Light Your Faith theme, as with the other themes, I didn't want to do all the talking, though. I invited my friend Sarah to share with us how her family celebrates during December. I was so pleased when she agreed to write a post for us. I love how she and her husband have been able to find common ground in their different faiths--and I think you will see how well that fits for a #LightTheWorld post!

*************************************************

My husband is Jewish; I am not. Before we married, we discovered two non-negotiables about raising children and found a compromise. We’d raise ours Jewish, but we’d still celebrate Christmas.

Photo: A Christmas tree stands next to the fireplace, where Menorahs stand on the mantle

But Christmas being Christmas in America, how can it not eclipse Hanukkah? You can see this in every Target, where aisles and aisles are devoted to Christmas and one aisle end holds the Hanukkah candles and a few plastic menorahs and dreidels.

Photo: Dreidels in a glass Christmas tree-shaped bowl


And it turns out my husband is what a friend once affectionately called “a Hanukkah Grinch.” “It’s not even a major holiday!” he grumbles every year.

Undeterred, I try to balance the decorations as much as possible. Menorahs on the mantel above the stockings, dreidels on display in the glass Christmas tree bowl, a Star of David above the manger scene, and my masterpiece: an interactive Hanukkah banner hung next to the Advent calendar.

Photo: Colorful Menorahs sit on a table and light the room


Now it’s been ten years since we’ve started this joint-December-holiday-thing in earnest. We’ve learned to pack the lightest menorah when traveling during Hanukkah, that socks and underwear make great Hanukkah gifts, and that a Fenway
Park ornament is the key to getting my husband in the tree-decorating spirit. But most of all we’ve found the theme of each holiday is the same: light and hope are greater than darkness and fear.

Photo: A Fenway Park ornament hangs on the Christmas tree

Yes, our celebrations are mainly secular. We tell the stories of the Maccabees and of the wise rabbi Jesus’ birth. But mostly we hang stockings and sing songs and fry delicious foods in oil. And then we light our lights on the menorah and the tree in this dark season and try to remember for ourselves, and impart to our children, this
instruction from the Talmud:

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Photo: A star of David hangs above a Nativity 
*****************************************
Kristi here again: I think we can all agree that light casts out darkness, and I hope that each of you has felt the warmth of this #LightTheWorld initiative. May we each do our part to spread light for the remainder of this month, and into the New Year!


Comments

  1. Thanks for having me, Kristi! It was a pleasure to share our traditions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so glad you agreed to be a guest blogger! I love getting a glimpse into your family traditions!

      Delete
  2. That is a very special compromise!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Conversations are so much nicer when more than one person does the talking. :-) Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts; I'd love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

Ten Things of Thankful: Dad's Influence Edition

Infant-me, sitting on the wood floor, looks up at my dad, who is sitting on a brown sofa and smiling down to me Here in the United States, it is Father's Day weekend. I did not realize until recently that Father's Day was not officially made a holiday until 1972. 1972! Now, while I realize that many people consider 1972 eons ago, I do not. I'm glad that fathers have a day of recognition now, because they surely deserve acknowledgement.  I thought for this week's Ten Things of Thankful post, I would list ten lessons I'm thankful my dad taught me. My dad is a teacher. Not only did he impart his knowledge to countless junior high aged kids throughout his career, he taught--and still teaches--my siblings and me. He is not a preachy teacher; he's a humble man whose lessons I feel like I learned through osmosis. When he would get home from work, we'd all sit down as a family for supper. Often, our phone would ring, and on the other end of the line would be a paren

Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Strawberries and Procrastinated Projects

A brilliantly-colored dark pink and purple fuchsia blossom You would think that by the time a person reaches my age, she would not be surprised by the passing of time, yet I find myself nearly constantly amazed that a certain amount of time has passed--whether that be a week, month, year, or couple of decades. Earlier this year, I planted a garden. Yesterday I harvested my first strawberry. Earlier this year, I also planted fuchsia starts, and now the flowers are blooming. How is that possible? (And why am I surprised?) Sometime around the turn of the century (and it still seems strange to use that phrase about the year 2000), we bought a circa 1935 dresser. It needed some TLC, but had a cool curvy front. This past week, I finally got around to applying some Restor-A-Finish and Feed-N-Wax, and now the dresser still looks old, but not dilapidated. I still need to apply some hide glue to some loose pieces, but I'm counting progress as a win. For as long as I can remember, I've be

Ten Things of Thankful: From Sunrise to Moonset

Cars and trucks on a highway travel toward the rising sun                                    John and I made a quick, task-oriented trip to California last week. We wore our masks and stayed at an acceptable social distance from others (which is hard for grandchildren to understand, but we mostly succeeded.) We're now home, and at the "I need a vacation to recover from my 'vacation' " stage, which makes sitting down to compose a TToT post a bit of a challenge. However, I know that I will feel better by the end of this post, so bear with me if you will.  1. I'm thankful that we had no problems with traffic going there or coming home. We left our hotel at about quarter to four on Friday morning. The early start, fewer families traveling this year, or, most likely, a combination of the two, made for an easy drive.  2. I'm thankful for books to help pass the time. We haven't actually finished yet (as I was reading aloud, and my voice can only last for so l