Hope Gibbs featured in Parents.com article
Your different beliefs might not have been a big deal — until Baby arrived! Make sure there’s peace and love this holiday season as you honor both of your religions.
“The challenge for interfaith families is to create holiday celebrations that respect and honor all their religious values and traditions,” says family therapist Carleton Kendrick Ed.M., L.C.S.W. “It’s not an easy task, and there’s no absolutely ‘right’ way to do it. But there should be no anticipatory anxieties, worries, or confusion about how you will celebrate your holidays.”
One thing that can make the process easier is discussing with your spouse what each of you would like to do to celebrate your respective religion during the holidays. Whether it’s decorating the house or attending services, work out all the details well before the season begins.
Make Your Own Traditions
“There’s simply no right or wrong way to celebrate the holidays, so why not have a little fun with it? Your holiday celebrations will be unique to your family as you both include your favorite childhood holiday traditions in your celebrations,” says Kendrick.
Hope Katz Gibbs, a mom from Arlington, VA, makes sure her house is decorated for both Hanukkah and Christmas, and isn’t afraid to combine the two. “Our tree is decorated with popsicle-stick ornaments in the shape of Jewish stars,” she reveals.
Raphael Vernassal of Los Angeles, came up with a creative solution to honor his family’s Jewish and Catholic heritage: He designed a special Star of David topper for their Christmas tree. It was such a big hit with family and friends, he’s now selling them at yourtreedition.com.
For Amanda Griffith’s family, traditions are less about religion and more about making memories with the kids. “Mostly it comes down to reading, baking, or doing something as a family,” says the mom from Norton, MA.