This has been a confusing Christmas, but a wonderful one. Since my host family was going to get together at Maria’s parents’ house (If I forgot to mention it earlier, Maria’s grandparents are my hosts) Maria, Jordan and I all just crashed on Maria’s couch after the Christmas Eve marathon. Oh… I should also explain that Jordan’s parents are elsewhere for Christmas this year… I forget whether they’re visiting one of his siblings or on vacation or whatever…
Anywho… Every church has their own traditions and customs around the entire Christmas season. I missed some of the things I used to do with my own family. My mom was Catholic, and my grandparents kept up those traditions for my sake even after my mother died. There have been other churches I’ve explored, and there’s always something different. One church would put on an elaborate play, different each year, where the kids had to audition for parts and commit to rehearsals months in advance. Others put an emphasis on music, with either multiple groups performing, or paid guests, or one big cantata.
I missed Hanukkah this year. I was so caught up in everything, I just didn’t… well, I can’t say I didn’t remember. It’s just that there are no other Jews in my life right now. My father sent a present. My grandparents sent a gift certificate. I sent them stuff too… it just didn’t seem the same.
There is something very important about fellowship. Faithful Heart has it in spades. I’m not just talking about the schedule of worship services and other events. I’m talking about how the people there just really love to be together, whether it’s a pot luck dinner or a really boring committee meeting. It’s so hard to chase people out of the church after meeting are over. There are always more than a few stragglers, people who act like they haven’t seen each other in ages even though they see each other at least three or four times a week.
We had confusing customs when I was growing up. Not confusing=bad, just confusing=complicated. Although my mother made sure the Catholic traditions were front and center, and those traditions are dear to me, we made room for the Jewish traditions as well.
I’m just not sure how to do that all by myself.