Today, families are more blended than ever which is a beautiful thing – but it can present some challenges, particularly where holidays are concerned.  An interfaith marriage doesn’t necessarily have to result in a couple choosing one set of beliefs over another but, rather, they can learn to embrace and incorporate each of their heritages. It’s the best of both worlds!

This can result in an incredibly enriching experience for children and the couple’s respective family members. It may not be simple, at first, but with a little creativity, an open mind and patience, great things can happen. Relationships can be made stronger by being willing to dig deep and truly understand the driving force behind each other’s faith.  It can lead to the cultivation of a bond like no other.

In the recent past, a husband and wife of mixed Christian and Jewish beliefs faced the “December Dilemma” but more and more families are celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas (CNN even has a whole article dedicated to “Chrismukkah”).  Here are some ways it can benefit you and your loved ones during the holiday season.

Miracle of Light

Both Christmas and Hanukkah are steeped in the tradition of bringing light out of the darkness.  Whether it’s the guiding star bright in the sky or the oil that burned for eight miraculous nights, the shared theme can be a way to integrate both histories. Truly, paying tribute to both practices will bring beauty and light to your holiday season.

Decorating

Concerned about how you will spruce up your home during Chrismukkah? Don’t worry! The resources are impressive and growing by the day.  It is becoming more and more common to see Shalom stockings, Hanukkah-themed ornaments and cookies, dreidels and even Star of David tree toppers (another great way to share the celebration of the miracle of light!).  Bed, Bath and Beyond, for example, offer a very decent selection of items that are appropriate for the combined holiday season.

An Example of Tolerance

One of the best things about recognizing both holidays is that it sets an example of tolerance and open-mindedness.  We do not have to dominate each other and be “right.”  Instead, we can benefit from the richness that comes with embracing all cultures and religions. It’s a powerful way to demonstrate that we do not all have to be the same in order to love one another. We can hold on to our own beliefs while respecting those of others and, really, isn’t that a powerful message for the holidays?

How do you celebrate the holidays together?