Living in a split holiday home

Growing up in a household that celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas strikes confusion. Explaining how I celebrated both when I was younger was difficult because I thought everyone celebrated both holiday’s until I grew up. I’m allowed to do both because only one of my parents are Jewish.

My mother grew up in a split household as well, she grew up half Jewish because my grandfather emigrated from Europe and my grandmother was from California. She also got to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. My father grew up as Catholic, but now is just a “regular guy” as he likes to put it. He is a person who does not care too much for religion but when he was younger he would only celebrate Christmas.

As a family we only decorate the house with my grandfathers menorah and a few Christmas lights. My mother and I say the prayers and light the menorah and I get to open one present each night for eight days straight. When I was younger, we would go crazy with the Christmas lights outside the house and put up a tree, but since I’m the only child, my parents do not feel like the tree and lights bring as much joy as before.

Hanukkah is an odd holiday because, unlike Christmas, there is no set date. It could start any day in December but usually it starts early or the middle of the month, rarely when Christmas is going happening. Due to my family living  in California and Seattle we can never see them during the holidays.

When Hanukkah comes around, my mother goes out and buys kosher food from Chompies for everyone. Kosher is food that included ingredients conform to the body of law that deals with the processing and preparation of food so Jewish people are allowed to eat that piece of food. Since I’m in a split household and Hanukkah is over by Christmas, my family and I always order Chinese food.

I love celebrating both because I get to experience something that others do not always get to see a side of.  When telling people I live in the split household, they think I get double the presents and that is not the case at all. My mother usually buys all the Hanukkah gifts and my dad will get me Christmas gifts as well. Just because you celebrate two holidays does not mean you get double the presents.  

I think people are getting more knowledgeable about how people do not just celebrate one holiday, Before high school I was the only one that would do split holiday celebrations but now many people are aware of what it is.