Christmas

Three Jews Walk Into A Christmas Party

 While visions of “The Polar Express” danced in their heads, my children had their first Christmas tree-decorating experience this Sunday – just a few hours after Hebrew school.

We were at another family’s Christmas party; so ensconced in Jewish life am I these days that I hadn’t realized until we got to their apartment — Christmas songs playing on the stereo and a fragrant evergreen awaiting the children’s trimming — that this was, in fact, a Christmas party.

Here Comes Santa Claus

So remember about a week and a half ago when I was saying how nice it is that my kids aren’t asking to celebrate Christmas?

Well, I spoke a little to soon. They’re not clamoring for a tree or anything, but for over a week, Sophie has insisted on us reading “The Polar Express” to her each night.

What Christmas Can Teach Us about Being Jewish

12/16/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews don’t celebrate Christmas, but it feels like everyone else does. And this “December Dilemma” forces us, as Jews living in a Christian country, to confront some difficult questions.

First of all, what do Jews think of Christianity? This isn’t an academic question. When Christmas is front and center in streets, stores and television screens, religious differences become part of the family conversation. I can remember my own children at a young age asking me, in their own words, “why did the Jews reject Christianity?”

Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz

This Chanukah Lady Is Fried

Over the past week, my life has been so overtaken by the Festival of Lights that I’ve been looking forward to Christmas, just so I can kick back and do nothing!

Our schedule was packed this week: three events at our temple, family over for dinner on Saturday and dinner with friends on Monday night. Plus, "Chanukah Lady" visits to Sophie’s pre-K and Ellie’s second grade to teach about the holiday and pass out dreidels and gelt. Oh, and did I mention that it was a regular week of work and school for everyone, and that I had to take the kids to two different doctor’s appointments?

When Santa Comes To Town

12/07/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

My 3-year-old nephew, his voice raspy from a recent cold, has been directing a long-winded narrative my way. I catch only a few words, but they startle me: Santa will be sliding down chimneys, and then there will be presents.

“Oh really?” I say, my eyebrows rising, inwardly vowing to speak with my sister.

Elicia Brown

‘Joys And Angst Of The Holidays’

12/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Jews and Christians have very different rituals that mark the onset of winter, but they share the pleasures and stresses of the holiday season. In Laurence Holzman and Felicia Needleman’s revue, “That Time of the Year,” which opens this weekend at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, two dozen new songs illuminate various aspects of the winter festivals.

“That Time of the Year” runs through Dec. 19 at the White Plains Performing Arts Center

Mixed Feelings About MixedBlessing

 Do people still send Christmas and Chanukah cards?

The last time I was organized enough to sit down with a stack of envelopes, stamps and list of addresses, was in 1998, when I was sending out wedding invitations. I’m sure that were my lapsed Catholic hubby and I to marry now, we’d probably notify the guests via Evite.

Help! I've Assimilated And I Can't Get Up!

Perhaps at no time more than Halloween am I struck by the huge chasm between Orthodox/traditional Conservative Jews and the rest of us.

Among most of my Jewish family and friends, there has never been even a question of whether or not to join other Americans in dressing up in costume, carving a jack-o-lantern and trick-or-treating. Halloween is a fun holiday and of course we partake.

Can I Interest You In Chanukah (Surveys)?

Lamenting the increasingly premature arrival of all-things-Christmas is a favorite American (especially American Jewish) pastime.

However, this year, with the first night of Chanukah on Wednesday, Dec. 1 (ack — just four and a half weeks away!) we Jews can be credited with ushering in the holiday season early this year.

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