This year the last day of Chanukah falls on Christmas Eve, reminding us of the unique connection many inter-faith families share. And for those of us who observe only one of the holidays, it’s nice to see how our friends are enjoying their special parties.
Getting together with family enhances the combination of fun, warmth, good food and beautiful decorations – whatever event you’re celebrating. And studies have shown that when families join together to practice their customs and rituals, there’s a positive effect on the children. They’re more likely to grow up with a strong sense of identity, close relationships with their parents and greater school success. Maintaining core cultural traditions while adding new ones makes it possible to honor both our historical roots and modern connections.
With two different calendars determining the dates for the December holidays – one based on the moon, and the other, the sun – last year, Chanukah fell on Thanksgiving and in two years, it begins on Christmas Eve and ends New Years Day. So if you thought Thanksgivukkah was a mouthful in 2013, who knows what word we’ll be using in 2016. Maybe just Happy Holidays, to all of us!