Christmas Trees in Our Jewish Home

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She settles next to me, her hair brushes against my arm.

“I’m done” she says, cupping her hands to show me.

Her fingers are small and pink tipped, they shed their sweet baby-hood long ago.

We sit side by side as I tie a small silver bow. I notice how similar our hands are.

“I did it” she smiles, “I made my very first ornament.”

Jason is in charge, a rare event when it comes to glitter.

But this is his story and he’s gently threading it into their’s.

They cross-stitch trees and menorahs and ornaments and dreidels with grace.

And I, I weave between reveling in this moment -capturing it with my heart and my lens- and scrutinizing every one of its layers.

Christmas music and cinnamon scented candles fade as we set each of their trees in their bedrooms.

Jason spends a moment with each one. Their locks blend deliciously- chocolate nestled against cocoa and caramel and golden butterscotch.

But when they plug in each tree and turn to each other, unsettling those matched strands and revealing rosy cheeks and lit eyes, what I see from my spot in the doorway is the passing of a story- gently told and softly whispered.

I archive it, because all of that threading and weaving and cross-stitching, is making it our story.

iPhone Photo Phun Mama’s Losin’ It

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  1. Sigh. Gorgeous, Galit. Love the pictures too.

  2. So beautiful! I love that your husband is sharing this and that the family is mingling traditions. how sweet! I LOVE those pictures!

  3. And it’s such a beautiful story. Your children are going to be so very glad for your archiving and memory freezing someday.

  4. You have such a beautiful way with words. I love hearing how your family is learning about Christmas together!

  5. As usual, this is beautiful Galit. I love that you are melding the two heritages into something so beautiful.

  6. You manage to give me goosebumps with almost every single one of your posts. Always so beautifully and thoughtfully told.

  7. Perfect, just perfect.

  8. Thank you for sharing your first Christmas with us, Galit.

    And I can promise you’r kids’ first ornaments look much better than the ones I made back in elementary school.

    So you’re all off too a beautiful start.
    And cheers to love. No matter what stitch it takes.


  9. Your words always warm my heart.

  10. great post! loved it!

  11. You have a beautiful way with words, and your photos are gorgeous.

  12. Aww! I really, really love the first photo of the tiny hands holding those stars!

  13. Great photos. And great husband who deal with glitter at all.

  14. You are the most giving, welcoming, loving person I know.
    What great characteristics you are passing on to your children.

  15. Great way to meld two traditions. Beautiful.

  16. I always love to see how other families balance their different traditions during the holidays. We’re still in Hanukkah at Oma’s house and Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa’s house mode, but we need to figure out how to “make our story,” as you so beautifully put it, in our own home too.

    Gorgeous, as always, my dear! xo

  17. I can not read one of your posts without ending up in chills. You are remarkable. This is a lovely family story you’re creating.

  18. Beautiful. The story, the words, the pictures. All of it.

  19. So so beautifully written! I can just picture their excitement and pride. Moments like these remind us that life really is good

  20. Beautiful, Galit. As always. I live that you are weaving the holidays together this year to give your kids a better understanding of your husband’s childhood. Some day, it will mean the world to them.

  21. So incredibly gorgeous.

  22. Your writing is exquisite! And the pictures…fab. I can so remember just like it was yesterday when it was me under a tree, just like your son!

  23. You have done your children’s memories justice with these photos, Galit. Gorgeous. Weaving these two celebrations together can only make your family stronger.

    As always, it was a pleasure visiting your space. You brighten my day with your words.

  24. You’re gonna make me a teary puddle with this… so sweet and beautiful.

  25. And the most important story is the story that that lives in the heart of your family. When your children are older they will be so happy to have the story that you have documented but also the memories of having lived it.

  26. I love how you always say “swoon.” Well, this makes me swoon. Beautiful words.

  27. I love this post! It is so beautiful!

    I love seeing you make the two holidays your own.

  28. Your words are so beautiful. I love how your weaving your stories together. That’s how I grew up and I couldn’t imagine it any other way now.

  29. I love nothing more than mixed traditions, and making them yours. Beautiful.

  30. Special moments in your house. Thank you for sharing them. Those pictures are all adorable too.

  31. What a wonderful post! I love this because our house is decorated full of Hanukkah decor and winter/Christmas stuff. I love the spirit of all the decorations and the Christmas music. Even though I am Jewish, my daughter goes to a Jewish preschool and we call ourselves Jewish. To me, the music and tree doesn’t make me any less Jewish. It’s about you and how you and your family celebrate the holidays.

  32. This is exactly how traditions should be. Love how they are weaving together the different holidays, too. That first picture, with the little hands made me sigh. They are still little, aren’t they? Love it.

  33. What a beautiful story, and I love your description “Their locks blend deliciously- chocolate nestled against cocoa and caramel and golden butterscotch.” Just wonderful!

  34. Oh Galit – I love this. Their trees are magnificent.

  35. I love how you are weaving two traditions together to form your own family traditions. Sort of like you’re marrying your husband all over again, if that makes sense. I haven’t had my coffee yet, so I may be incoherent. If so, sorry!

  36. I love the concept of a Christmakkah tree . . . tradition is what you make of it . . . and as long as it’s meaningful to you & your family, well, it’s perfect.

  37. I love this: how the new tradition is being created (maybe) and you are all blending into each other. So lovely. No anger, no stress, just joy. And acceptance. Why can’t we all be like this?

  38. What a beautiful story. I love the interwoven faith and traditions, something the whole world needs to learn.

  39. This is just beautiful. I love passing down traditions, and that the story your family is creating mixes different ones makes it that much more special.

  40. Galit, I love that your husband is doing this with your children and you are embracing it with the open arms that you embrace your children with. I know this must be a big change in your house but this is a wonderful chapter to add to your family’s lives. xo

  41. I was on Southwest airlines last week, and in the in-flight magazine, whatever they call the sales catalog in the seatback ahead of you, I saw a quaintly termed “Hannukah tree topper” (it was a star of David – I would have expected a menorah from that title). I thought of you.

  42. I think my favorite thing about being a parent during the holidays is creating traditions. Beautuful.

  43. Anti-Supermom says:

    I love how you sew these holidays together, through your words, to make something so perfectly your own.

  44. Nothing like experiencing Christmas through the eyes of a child. I’m just starting to get a glimpse of it this year, with my daughter being 2, and it’s already so magical. I can only assume it only gets better. :)

  45. The ornaments sound beautiful! It sounds like you have really made it all work for your family.

  46. So, so beautiful Galit. I have been thinking about you and wondering how the weaving was going. Never worried though, because I knew you would do it perfectly.

  47. What a lovely way to weave traditions together, and what lovely words. We too have an interfaith family and each year try to celebrate not only our faiths but our heritage and tradition.


  48. How blessed your children are to experience the magic of it ALLL!!!

  49. Wow, just beautiful, just beautiful.

  50. I was looking forward to your telling of the tree, since your family decided to embrace the tradition this year. Fabulous, Galit!

  51. Galit, your words capture all the nuances of such important family moments that it is always a pleasure to see what you guys are up to. Creating your own traditions makes them even more special.

  52. Creating family traditions so beautiful.Love you story..

  53. Beautiful Galit.

  54. I love this post. Christmas memories are so important to me. I strive to make it all memorable. I want my kids to look back fondly the way I look back at my childhood christmas memories.

  55. So beautiful. And the little hands holding the stars — love that moment caught on film.

  56. What a wonderful gift you are giving your children…the best of both worlds.

    So beautifully written :)

  57. I love how you are sharing this with us. So moving. Great job.

  58. How i wish you were closer … have a girlfriend going to bat over Christmas . She won’t hear of a tree in her Jewish home and he wants to feel that she respects him, and she will have no part of his Christian need for a tree … its tearing me up …

  59. What a great way to interweave your family. We do a lot of combining and I love the feeling that it’s the best of both worlds.

  60. Beautifully written. I love that your children are learning both ways to celebrate. And I love that you are there to capture the memories. Amazing!

  61. Rereading this again. I just love how you write!

  62. So beautifully and poetically told. :-)

  63. Such warm memories.

    These are more important than we can even imagine, but they’ll remember these days and a flood of warmth will come back with their visions.

  64. If you decide to combine traditions in future years I hope you date your ornaments and make ornaments with pictures so in the years to come you will have this memory. As I was at my parents house yesterday I looked at their Christmas tree and remembered fondly the different things we did together over the years. It’s fun to remember….

  65. Tiny hands, big hearts. Sounds like a wonderful tradition you are sharing with your family. As always, your words move. Beautiful, Galit.

  66. I’m only just reading this but you are killing me. Seriously. Your words send me goosebumps and shivers. It’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing. :) I am so happy that your family is enjoying both holidays and that you’re documenting this in such a way that they’ll never forget – and neither will you. xoox

  67. Linda Dixon says:

    Such a beautiful story and beautiful results.


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