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When I converted to Judaism the panel of rabbis who convened to see if I was “ready” asked me to do two things. First, I had to promise to raise my children in the Jewish faith. Second, I had to give up Christmas.
The first item was a no brainer, I’d already planned on that. As for the second, if I’d been able to say yes with my fingers crossed behind my back I would have. Instead I opted for explaining to them why Christmas was non-negotiable.
I must have been convincing because they let me into the tribe without making me give up my most important family tradition.
I wasn’t kidding either. When the turkey dinner draws to a close I do a little inside dance because the countdown to Christmas is officially on.
Little white lights, fir trees, wrapped presents, and a whole week with my family, thinking, talking, and eating amazing food.
I love everything about Christmas. I love the gift buying, hunting down the ideal present for people I love. I love the smells and the joy that permeates the air. I even love the music. (No, really. I have a Pandora Christmas station. I kid you not.)
And why do I love Christmas so much?
Easy, all that joy, all that cheer, all those presents, tinsel, lights, and ribbon, they all lead down to the morning when we all gather together, my husband, my sisters, my brother-in-law, my mom, and all the kids, everyone on their coziest jammies, around the glittery tree, with hot tea in hand, and let the joy and excitement wash over us.
I don’t care what the year has in store for us. I just know that when that morning rolls around I’ll be warm and happy inside, surrounded by the people I love most making their happiest noise.
It doesn’t get more comforting than that.
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