December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah

So what is it for you, a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hannukah? In our family we celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah. We started this, I don't exactly remember, 4-5 years ago. Since becoming Christians, we have always been interested in the Jewish Feasts and Holidays. Anything that has to do with Israel, we are interested in. Even our children's names are of Hebrew origin or meaning. I think it is such a unique and awesome culture.

I met a Messianic woman right before Shiloh was born almost 5 years ago. Our girls were taking ballet together and I remember asking her all sorts of questions about Jewish holidays and culture. She was very involved in her Messianic walk with the LORD. She even called Jesus--Yeshua, his Hebrew name. She said their family had traced back her husband's heritage, and found out he is from the Levitical line of Jews. In the congregation, her husband is the "Priest" who reads the Torah (the first books of the bible--Genesis to Deuteronomy). She was a very neat woman. She gave me some literature about the Jewish Feasts and I devoured them. I learned about how the Feasts reflect the Birth, life, and Death of the LORD Jesus. It has been an interesting Journey.

Donnie and I decided to incorporate Hannukah in our Christmas holiday, but with a twist. Our children don't believe in Santa. We felt that not telling them the truth--goes against our convictions as Christians about lying. This our own conviction. We know of several wonderful families who keep Santa as part of their holiday tradition in their children's lives. I am not saying you are sinful parents if you still do Santa. But in our home we don't do Santa but Hannukah Harry. What? Who?

Hannukah Harry is Donnie dressed up in a Santa costume. The kids all know this is Donnie. We all have a great time with it. Donnie dresses up and comes to our house as Hannukah Harry. He comes for eight days. Christmas Eve being the last day he shows up. The eight days represent the eight days of Hannukah. When Hannukah Harry is in our home, he teaches us about what Hannukah means, and we light a mennorah candle each night. After the teaching, he passes out gifts to the family. Instead of our children opening up their gifts on Christmas morning, they open them up during the week before Christmas. The kids love it! Our family celebrates Hannukah with a twist. This Hannukah Harry guy is just a character and Donnie happened to have the Santa suit laying around and he said why not. I guess this is what I get when I marry a clown like Donnie, who is full of props and drama.

We do not make little of the Birth of Christ. Christ is in our lives daily. Our actual Christmas celebration is minimal. If you want to get technical, according to the Jewish calendar, Jesus' birth took place during the Feast of Tabernacles and this is celebrated around September or October.

During this holiday season, enjoy your family and the season of giving, peace, and joy. Most important don't forget the Reason for the Season. And try to commit in making the Reason (Jesus), part of your everyday life.



Nancy said...

I like Chanukah Harry. Can he come to our house??? Ha ha. Your hubby is a hoot! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!! Hope to see you all very soon!

Beth said...

Thank you for your post.. it has given me some new ideas. I want very much to celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah in my house. My sis is a converted Jew & we have strong desire to bring that heritage out in our lives. We adopted 2 children that are very much in to "santa". They now know that he is a pretend character, but we have fun with him just the same. Thanks for sharing.
Also, I added your link to my blog I hope that it is ok with you.
Blessings, Beth