Category: Family Life

Mixed Families Make Holidays Better!

The first time I met my future in-laws was Christmas Eve, 13 years ago. They were coming to the house their son Bill and I shared, and I was making dinner. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have been a problem, but these were not normal circumstances. I am Jewish. I had never hung stockings, attended midnight Mass, tasted mincemeat, waited for Santa Claus, or in any way celebrated Christmas. My future in-laws, pillars of their church, are devout Christians. Bill, my husband who also makes a living removing trees,  trying to reassure me, pointed out that because his parents were true Christians, they would be especially forgiving of anything I did.

They were, of course, but that’s not what I remember best from that night. After dinner, Bill’s mother asked me when we were going to light the Hanukkah candles. It was the first night of the Jewish Festival of Lights, when Jews light candles to commemorate the …