I had an amazing weekend with my family. Besides all the driving from city to city I did to make my older girls happy, the rest of the time was spent enjoying some of my favorite family traditions.
Saturday David finished putting lights up on our house. I love pulling in at night and seeing that. The holidays warm my heart. I love the smell of cinnamon and pine when I walk into the house. My daughter knew right away, even before the decorations went up that “it smells like Christmas”. Sunday I started making a huge pot of matzo ball soup. We went to a local Malibu yard to pick out our tree, and then we drove it home on top of my truck. Delivery is so easy, but the kids love to do this and they look forward to dragging it into the house and making a big MESS!
Then my mom and David’s family came over to decorate, listen to holiday music and eat our favorite soup. It was a scene right out of a soap opera.
Shaya is 22 months old now; this is the first holiday he can really get into. Right now his mission is to smash all the ornaments off our tree! Boys are so different than girls. Even though it’s dangerous, we are still decorating the whole house, hanging garland, poinsettias everywhere, and a family of twinkling deer outside our door.
I’ve been thinking about all the great sense memories that are related to the holidays, and comfort foods. Warm soup, hot chocolate, roasting marshmallows, pot roasts, baked yummies, grilled sandwiches. No wonder everyone adds on a few pounds during the season. One rule to live by is to enjoy everything, but maybe just a bite! I’m working out a bit harder these days too. It helps me balance stress and it balances out the fun indulgences of the holidays.
I had a great laugh the other day when my daughter confessed that she was a bit confused as to what religion she is, Jewish or CHRISTMAS!!!! I totally get it. We celebrate everything, but we practice Judaism. So many of the holidays are a festive celebration and can be enjoyed by all. We keep the high religious holidays and guide our family spiritually with deeper meaning than the festive holidays.
Oh boy, I am sure this will spark quite the controversy in our blog community. But as usual, I am just sharing my ways… I teach my children about many things and I will encourage them to learn about different philosophies when it is age appropriate. When I was a child I studied many different religions. My mother is Jewish and my father is Catholic. I am totally open to exposing my children to different traditions, beliefs and cultures. I think there are many ways to get where you are going, not a right and wrong way. It’s about feeling good about the path that you’re on, and enjoying the journey.
We totally enjoyed lighting our Chanukah bush, eating kosher matzo ball soup, and bringing out the Christmas decorations. Santa sits on our mantle next to the menorah. Call us confused, or call us open minded, but know that we are happy.