I grew up in a Jewish home. My southern belle wannabe Methodist mother converted to Judaism when she married my NY Jewish father and the four of us were (in the beginning ) raised Jewish. But mom couldnâ€™t let go of her Christmas tree so that was incorporated into the year, we did all the jewish holidays ( even with a sukkah some years in the backyard) and then this one anomaly in midwinter. I confess I loved it and felt no conflict with being a fairly observant Jew until I moved to the south. There was so much ignorance and confusion about Jews in the south that I decided to take a stand and banish the tree. On some years I said okay to one upstairs where no one would see it. And when the century ended we put up a tree and went to see Last Night of Ballyhoo. My mother or maybe my father drew the line at Christmas, no nativity, nothing Christian on the tree no easter etc, just the tree. And so I grew up and even rationalized it as borrowed from the pagans anyway. Well this year in Portland we have a stupendously high space in which to put a very large tree â€“ a winter solstice tree- and I am conflicted about doing this. First itâ€™s a lot of work and I will do the main job as my husband won't get here until the 23rd and that night we have a ballet performance to attend. So that means I must buy the tree and put it up â€“ I am sure I could grab a friend to help me get it in a stand a tied to the wall because my cat's s reaction to the tree is a total unknown. And then I have to do the lights etc and have the ornaments all ready for jim to help trim the tree on the 24th. And second itâ€™s a REAL pain to take down and put everything away. do I want to be sucked into the potential stress of Christmas again? As much as I loved it , it is a time fraught with stress: pregnancy loss, reaction formations, family memories, are we sharing the load? Is jim merry enough? Why do I do all this work when itâ€™s not MY holiday? I mean I guess I have to own it and do it for me and if I can get to that point I wont have any built up. so if I put one up it should be for me... like on the 20th but then I would decorate it myself because if I wait for jiom I will begin to feel I am doing it for him, yet if I donâ€™t wait I will be robbing him of something? Or do I invite other jjewish friends and the four of us decorate it so itâ€™s just a pagan party? You see how complicated it is? What would you do? Please write and share your thoughts, thanks.
post #1 of 14
11/24/06 at 1:05pm