Holiday Memories

In reading Andrea Gardenhour’s Op-Ed “A Christmas tree in a Jewish Home?” [Dec. 5, Opinion], I reflected on my own childhood in Seattle.

My mother loved the holidays. She grew up in a small town where they were the only Jewish family and did their best to fit in (this was in the 1930s). That included putting up a Christmas tree, and she thought they were beautiful.

Fast forward to when my sister and I were young. We had a Christmas tree, Santa, Hanukkah, Passover and the Easter Bunny! We were never confused about being Jewish — we just celebrated everything.

I still remember the day I realized that none of my Jewish friends had either Christmas trees, stockings or Santa (I was about 6). I asked my mother, “Why does Santa come to our house — we’re Jewish?” Her reply was as priceless then as it is today. “Santa,” she said, “wasn’t prejudiced and loved all children.”

To this day, I reflect on my mother’s inclusive message. Being Jewish means trying to live a good life, energetically working for others, doing what’s right and reflecting my Jewish values. It has nothing to do with whether or not there’s a Christmas tree in the house.

Jan Levy, Seattle

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Positively Purging-I welcome your feedbacks in the comments and your likes and passing the real life wisdom on to others as I embark on this new venture of “positively purging“, as I know each of these pieces represents something…

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