"Jew-Rican." "Christmukkah." "I'm Jew…ish." These are just a few terms I created or adopted over the years to add levity to the confusion people would experience when they learned about my ethnicity. I grew up on Long Island, New York, where there was a very high population of Jews. It was common to see symbols of both Christianity and Judaism, especially in public schools. Seeing Stars of David alongside Christmas trees and crosses on school windows, the walls of department stores, and in newspaper advertisements was commonplace. This dual expression of spirituality perfectly reflected my own household.
This is Offbeat Home's archive of holidays posts.
So you can't afford to get your book nerd brother a first edition, or your travel-hungry friend his dream trip to Japan, or your whiskey-loving sister her favorite bottle. We get it! But you CAN get them gifts that are just as thoughtful, and all for under $20. Check these out…
This was our first Christmas in our home and as a married couple. My husband spent almost the entire time talking about all the traditions we were going to start this year and do the same thing every year and how much fun our future kids were going to have and other happy joy joy type silliness. All I kept thinking; I just want to sit on my couch, watch "Downton Abbey," and forget about Christmas. My question: does all of this make me a Grinch? When I have kids, will I find the Christmas spirit or be even worse?
A funny thing has happened over the past few years: suddenly, I totally look forward to doing holiday cards. It should be noted that I'm not especially into holidays — I spent my 20s mostly ignoring them, and then once I switched to being self-employed in my 30s, I find that I can't even keep track of when most holidays are happening. I'm not a big seasonal decorator, nor do I get especially into the holiday spirit each winter.
But, oddly, the past couple years have found me becoming an increasingly huge fan of holiday cards.
The office where I work does a food drive every year for our holiday party. I was wondering if anyone who has experience would have any suggestions on what kinds of foods are good to donate to a food pantry?
Growing up in New York City, I was vaguely aware that my parents "tipped" the doormen and the superintendent of my apartment building sometime around the end of December. Now as an adult newly living in a city in Texas, in a rental apartment complex, and I have no idea what I should do about holiday tipping… Who are these people we should be tipping? Should we be giving cash or gift cards? If so, how much? Should we be giving cookies? Should we just give a thank you/happy holidays card?
We know that many of you are looking for super-awesome holiday greetings — something more than a fantastic family photo that is just going to end up in someone's trash post-holidays. If you're one of those on the search for a kick-ass holiday greeting, you're going to flip (and then more-than-likey cry) over wedding photographer Mike Allebach's Slow Motion Love Notes.