The December holidays can be a complicated time of year, especially for intermarried families raising Jewish children. Even as Hanukkah becomes more and more present in public celebration, Christmas is still the dominant holiday in North America and kids necessarily want to join in the fun. I grew up with two Jewish parents, and I too, wanted to sit on Santa’s lap.
Is that so terrible? In my case at least, visiting Santa did not confuse my identity (actually, when Santa asked what I wanted for Christmas, I told him I was Jewish). David Bradley, an educator and theatre artist who grew up Catholic is raising Jewish children and analyzes the recent “dilemma” of his children wanting to write letters to Santa in an article for the
Philadelphia Inquirer. He comes to the conclusion that he’s glad his children have a Jewish identity. It gives them a particular lens through which to see the world, even as they are exposed to many traditions that broaden their knowledge and understanding. His story is likely a familiar one for many interfaith families, and I highly recommend reading it!