December 21, 2016

Mixed traditions

We are a mixed family. My husband both come from Indiana, both from Ball State (go Cards!); however, we both had different traditions growing up. My family celebrated Chanukah and my husband’s family celebrated Christmas. When we got married, we agreed to celebrate Christmas but I still like to infuse some of the traditions that I grew up with.

We are one of “those” families that puts away the Halloween décor on November 1 and out comes the holiday décor! The kids always help deck our halls, hang our stockings and hang the ornaments on the tree. My two-year-old son really likes to help Daddy with the exterior illumination (nod to Clark Griswold).

While the boys are outside, my four-year-old daughter and I will start baking up a storm. A couple of years ago I shared how we make marshmallow dreidels. It’s a great way to get my little one involved and contributing to the festivities! Beyond making our delish dreidels, we always make chocolate chip meringue cookies. These light and fluffy clouds are delectable and always a hit in the cookie exchange!

As we enjoy watching all the classic holiday movies, we like to also play dreidel. Start each person with the same number of tokens, coins, pieces of candy, etc. Each player gets to spin the dreidel and based on the Hebrew letter that is showing, they either win or lose pieces.

Shin: Player adds a piece to the pot in the middle!
Hey: The player gets half the pot!
Gimel: The player gets everything in the pot!
Nun: Nothing happens – you don’t win any pieces…but you don’t lose any either!

This year will be an exciting one as both holidays fall during the same time! Chanukah begins at sunset on Christmas eve, which will bring lots of opportunities to combine our traditions.

Our great city of Charlotte offers great opportunities to learn more about Christmas and Chanukah. While we have the Billy Graham library and their amazing Christmas at the library, we also have public menorah lightings to witness in Southpark Mall, Uptown, Stonecrest and Waxhaw, among other great festivities!

Our family enjoys participating in the mixed traditions. It’s what makes us…us! We look forward to seeing how our traditions grow each holiday season!

Smarties – what are some of your favorite holiday traditions?

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