What I want you to bring me this year is a Christmas Tree, full of beautiful lights and ornaments from all over the world. Just like the one my neighbor, Tommy, has in his home! And when you deliver it can you explain to my parents that it is OK for an eight-year old boy born to Jewish parents to celebrate Christmas- or at least have a tree?
November 30, 2010
I know that you very much want to have a Christmas tree- just like your neighbor friend, Tommy. However, you may want to rethink WHY you want the tree and what about being Jewish you can embrace and share with Tommy. Does Tommy know about the story of Chanukah? Do you think you can tell him that this is a fun holiday in which Jews sought freedom and equality and were able obtain it due to lots of bravery! Also, Chanukah is part of the Jewish calendar season that celebrates miracles- just like Christians celebrate a miracle during this part of the year, too!
Consider sharing your holidays by visiting each others’ homes. Read about all the seasonal celebrations and traditions (Don’t forget Kwanzaa!). You can serve Latkes (which symbolizes the miracle of the oil lamp burning for eight days instead of only the one it was expected to last). And he can tell you the story behind the real reason for Christmas- which-by the way- has nothing to do with a tree. You might want to start a tradition of your own, too. Maybe you both would like to donate a toy or book to a boy or girl who may have a family that is struggling right now. That would help me out, too! Don’t forget to snap some photos so you can make a visual memory of this special time together.
January 3, 2011
Tommy and I had a great time celebrating with each other during Chanukah and Christmas. I am glad you didn’t bring the tree because I learned that lighting the Menorah candles was special for Tommy and he thought it was maybe even cooler than having a tree!
You might be happy to know that we donated some of my old books to a local shelter in our town. There were a lot of little kids who were happy to get them. I remembered to take pictures, too. I got a photo album as one of my Chanukah presents that you can write in, so it is like a photo journal. My teacher said I can bring it to class to show everyone.
Hope you are relaxing and give a hug to the reindeer for me. And I wish that the grown-ups who are perusing our letters learn that READING to a child is truly a great tradition to have during the holiday season! ( I even listed some of my favorite holiday books and music below) Happy New Year, Santa!
By author, Patricia Polacco-
The Trees of the Dancing Goats
The Keeping Quilt
By author, Eric Carle-
Why Noah Chose the Dove
By Chris Van Allsburg – The Polar Express
By Donna L. Washington and Stephen Taylor – The Story of Kwanzaa (A Trophy Picture Book)
Putamayo Kids International Music – www.Putmayo.com (percentage of proceeds helps international children’s charities)
Looking for great websites that help FAMILIES!
Mom to Madre– this is a bilingual-bicultural website dedicated to helping families within the Hispanic Community. Based in San Diego
CODA365.org This site started by ASL Comedian Keith Wann is dedicated to helping bilingual- bicultural families within the Deaf Community.
Education.com More information here than you could possibly read in a day. Have a question about child development- post it on the JustAsk column and someone will try and help you!
Family First- Love this site that is chocked full of information to help families on a variety of topics.
Pediatric Safety- This site is dedicated to keeping kids and their families SAFE! Read their holiday tips this week.