Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On being a Jew at Christmas......

Holiday ornament by Roberta Warshaw
Holiday ornament, a photo by Roberta Warshaw on Flickr.
Being a Jew at Christmas has never been easy for me. When I was small I would try in vain to hang evergreen boughs and tinsel in the house only to have my mother tear it down furiously and tell me “We are Jews and we DO NOT celebrate Christmas!” Period.

I wanted to have Christmas so much that when I met and married my non-Jewish husband I went full on overboard. We had a tree. I decorated the house. I made all my own ornaments. I laid tinsel on one piece at a time just like you are supposed to. And got caught up in the shopping mania like everyone else. I was in heaven!

Of course, I still had a menorah on the table but it was surrounded by a holly bough and ribbons. I wasn’t kidding around!

For Christmas my kids received tons of gifts. We still lit the candles for Chanukah but it was really all about Christmas for gift giving.

After my divorce in the early 90’s I met my current husband who is a Jew and like my mother a firm believer that Jews do not celebrate Christmas. So I stopped. And I was fine with it. All of a sudden I didn’t have to shop. And I liked it. The pressure was off, just like that. Well, sort of.

Unfortunately my kids, of course, did not stop celebrating Christmas. How could I expect them to when they grew up with it. My daughter gets a huge tree every year and fills it with gifts and decorations for my grandson. She even has a nativity set. Ouch.

So this year, since I am not working and cannot afford to go crazy with gifts for my grandson, I decided to, yes that is correct, make an ornament. The other night I was perusing the internet to get ideas for making an ornament in polymer clay. Most of them looked pretty hokey though until I found this woman, Lynn Reno. She inspired me to make a steam punk ornament. I think my grandson will like it, don’t you?


Mª Reyes said...

Es muy original, me gusta mucho. Besos

Unknown said...

He will love it!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

yup, I think he'll love it.

I say Merry Christmas to everyone. Its more of a celebration of the season, than Christ's birthday. I have my own thoughts on that and choose not to debate. The holiday is so commercial anymore, I never understand why those that don't believe can't just celebrate the season.

So in the spirit of Christmas Trees and Silver Bells...Merry Christmas and Peace on Earth.
xx, Carol

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Sorry, I forgot to tell you how cool I think your snowman is. Your grandson will love it.

Roberta Warshaw said...

Thanks everyone. And a happy, happy to you all!

Ann Gorbett said...

Great story and LOVE the ornament. He will too.

Anonymous said...

How could he possibly not like that!

Deborah Velásquez said...

Hey Roberta!
Stopping in to say hello and check out your blog and your work. Lovely , Lovely, Lovely! We used to work together many moons ago! I will be sure to stop in and see what lovely things you are working on! Have a happy holiday, may it be joyous and merry!

All the Best,

Elizabeth Rose Stanton said...

It's a mighty fine ornament! I like that you were inclined to celebrate both. We are very close to a few non-Christian families, and we are exposed to many of the Jewish holidays (and some Muslim) as well Christian. Makes for a happier world! :) We should all spread the good matter what the origins--
and the message on your ornament says it all!! :)

Unknown said...

Love the snowman!
I think there are several sides to "Christmas" one of which is the Christian version, the commercial Santa version...which we do/did, then you could always decorate with seasonal decorations and greens/holly just to celebrate the joy of it or maybe for Yule.
However any one celebrates the winter seasonal markers, I wish them joy :)