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Did anyone celebrate this year, or I should say still celebrating? I'm Jewish by default (my mother) but I'm Catholic and this year I decided to participate in the festivites of the holiday. Right now it's a big learning process as I don't remember any of the Judaism I was taught as a child  I guess it's kind of hard for me because this time of year because I have religious obligations for both religions. I doubt anyone else has the same problem, but who knows  Happy Hanukkah!

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Hi Lise441,

well, LOL, we celebrate both in our home (husband is Jewish) and we also pay tribute to Soltice because my second oldest daughter's bio father is Native American, and I studied a littile, Celtic beliefs, etc.

But when I first begun to celebrate and learning about Hanukkah, I was surprised at how few stores actually sold any items centered around Hanukkah, excluding Jewish markets. I wanted to set up something special for my husband and he has a beautiful Menorah, so I do one side of the livingroom with our tree, Christmas decor in one window, and the other side I set up the Hanukkah table, and in the window I hang crystal stars, angels, and snowflakes, and in the sill, I throw down that white filling (that you use in pillows sold in craft shops) with small branches (painted silver white, a gllittery type) and then I hang white lights around the window...and on the table under the window is the Menorah and the glass wear, a glass bowl for the dreidels and I found these really cute little cheese servers with Hanukkah decor handles (Stars of David and Dreidels)-- it really is pretty when its all done.

And the really neat thing is that the children look forward to Hanukkah just as much as they do Christmas, and its tradition now, LOL, to get those chocalate gold coins every year for the kids. I find that not only has celebrating three holidays enriched our lives but it has expanded the children's knowledge of other beliefs and cultures.

One year, we studied Christmas around the world and did one thing, particular to that country being studied (studied 24 different countries, one a day) and added that to our holiday. That was a blast, and we wrote down Merry Christmas in all the languages and put them on this board in the kitchen. I remember Greece the most, because they don't put up trees, but instead they put a nice bowl of water, with sage, on the table...I can't recall the significance of this ritual but its something that always sort of stuck in my memory so we do that now too.

LOL, some of the countries though, don't begin celebrations until like midnight and they go on from like, all night to two days...and if memory serves me right, Canada has a really unique holiday (I think its Canada...memory going in my old age, LOL), but they do like a treak or treat type celebration...I will have to look it up.

I think it would be so awesome to celebrate Christmas in another country though, not in a tourist place but in a rural area, where national customs are still practiced, etc (you know tourist areas usually are Americanized,etc). It would be interesting to see if the commercialization is as strong in other countries during the holidays as its become here (decorations being sold in some stores like, around Halloween, LOL, whats with that anyway, by time December gets here you're sick of it already, didn't used to be like that when I was a kid).

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I was Bat Mitzvah'd and Confirmed Catholic, so I was always obligated to participate and show observation to both religions. Not so much for me or my parents, but for my grandparents. My mother's parents are Russian/Irish/Jewish but more Russian and they are strict about religious tradition, they are very understand and do embrace catholicism, but during Jewish holidays I am expected to observe and participate. Now my father is Black/Italian/Native American and his Italian mother (who still resides in Italia, btw) is strict about Catholic holidays, hence the reason why I was always told to follow lent strictly and no matter what we went to midnight mass on xmas eve. The funny thing was that growing up I used this to my advantage, like if I didn't want to follow lent I'd say I was too involved in my Judaism to participate, or if I didn't want to follow Yom Kippur I'd say I was into my Catholicism studies  anything to get out of the confusion. Now that I am older I think I have learned to appreciate both religions more, and I'm glad my parents never made me feel like I had to choose between the two religions.

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