Thursday, December 22, 2011

Celebrating the Holidays ... Toz Style

photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton via photo pin cc

December to me has always felt a bit like being at a circus – no we don’t have clowns or tigers, but there is a whole lot of juggling going on. As I noted in my Hanukkah Memories post, my side of the family celebrates Hanukkah. My husband’s side of the family celebrates Christmas. My husband and I collectively with our three kids, celebrate both.

The juggling usually begins with a phone call from one of my family members some time in late October: “Do you know when you are having Hanukkah this year?”

Yes – you read that correctly. In the Toz household, I get to decide when Hanukkah is ... sort of. You see, even though there is a date on the calendar every year that tells the world when Hanukkah is, we don’t celebrate it until my family (my parents, brother/sister-in-law/kids, and my aunt and uncle) can decide on a date when we can all get together. This year, we are celebrating at the end of January – almost an entire month after the actual holiday is over. I know that may seem absurd to some, but that’s how we’ve always done it. (Sadly this year my brother and his family are not able to join us – hopefully we will be with them again next year.)

We still light the candles and say all the prayers during *actual* Hanukkah, but we wait for gifts, games of dreidel, and latkes until our big family celebration. (Although we did manage to sneak in some latkes and dreidel playing a little early this year!)

Then there is Christmas. Oh I know what you are thinking – that’s easy – that’s on the 25th! Yes, that is true – but it’s also going to extend into January for us. Christmas in January? What are you talking about?
Let me explain.

In years past, my two oldest children always spent the week in between Christmas and New Years with their dad, my ex-husband. Usually they leave the day after Christmas. This year, however, they are leaving on Christmas day. So, on Christmas morning, my husband, my three kids, and I will have our traditional celebration - stockings, Santa gifts, and pancakes. However, when my husband’s extended family comes to visit, my two oldest will already be gone. So when they return in January, we will do it all over again with my in-laws.

Confusing? Yes. Sometimes, I feel like we are straight out of "Christmas Vacation." But that’s just always how it’s been in our hectic household.

To all of my friends, family, and readers... Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday season!

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