Hanukkah and Christmas – the “December dilemma”. I never liked that term “dilemma”. Not that there isn’t an element of difficulty for an interfaith household, but the word made it seem so dire. I think I would prefer, December Questions, because it all boils down to a lot of questions. The core one being, how will we handle these two holidays, one of which is the Mother of All Holidays.
Let me say emphatically, this is not a one-answer-fits-all question. There are a few do’s and don’ts, but no template that everyone can squeeze into.
The first issue is that people often don’t want to talk about it until they are smack up against it – typically in December. But it’s much easier to contemplate in February, with the next occurrence being months away.
Here are some questions to discuss:
1. Do one or both of us have strong feelings about this? This is usually Christmas.
2. Do we have a plan for this year or do we need some help sorting it out – right away?
3. Is December a cloud that floats through our lives with us – one we’d like to be rid of?
4. Are we stuck and just don’t know what to do or say at this point? Are we feeling overwhelmed?
Bonus question: How is this impacting our children? Do we really know?
If after reading this you’d like some help, please contact me. (firstname.lastname@example.org). You are not alone. You haven’t done anything “wrong”. You may need some new ideas.
As for the Bonus Question, how this is affecting your kids matters. But you must take care of yourselves before you can focus on the children.