If you are reading this blog, you more than likely know I am a Jew by Choice. So much has changed since I started down the path of "let me take a closer look at Judaism." A lot has happened! My third anniversary of my conversion will occur on April 1st 2011...God willing.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Saturday December 25th 2010
I am happy that I have managed to continue to evolve in my observance and practices. I have also managed to diplomatically deal with my family of origin, my Catholic, Italian/Irish family of origin. The main difficulty has been my daughter who lost Christmas with my conversion (her father, my former husband is Jewish but rejects all religion) Yet even before she moved to Portland Oregon this fall, that had started getting better too....so with her move, I have no Christmas tree dilemma!
As I put away my Hanuka decorations last Sunday, It dawned on me that this year will be the first one in my life where I have absolutely no trace of Christmas in my home. I have been trying to understand my feelings about this. I don't think I am missing it, but there is some issue of my memories. This time of year is intrinsically linked to that holiday. The songs, the traditions the religion of it all. Don't get me wrong I feel at home being Jewish, but it just seems a bit odd.
The next revelation for me is when I saw that Christmas falls on Shabbat this year. For those of you born Jewish with no mixed marriage issues , this is not a problem but for me this is BIG. One way I have kept the family quite is by attending gatherings in their homes for their celebrations. That way I am there but generally don't have to compromise much. (I will write about food wars at another time!...)
Ok I am not Shomer Shabbat but I am not secular about it either...I use the lights, shower with hot water etc...but my husband and I walk to our conservative synagogue and I don't work, shop etc..
The problem is my parents live two hours away from me.
I have envisioned the phone conversation..."hello mom,... no not coming, it is shabbat"......dead silence....the extremist word might get used...the c word...cult....and a bunch of others. There also could be some serious guilt thrown my way.
My parents are very old, they have accepted so much from me...I don't think I have the strength to hold my ground on this, this year....Does anyone know the next year this will happen?...maybe I will be on vacation for that!
Posted by Karen Zampa Katz at 3:18 PM