Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hannukah v. Christmas: Cindy and Sandy

I was outside the other day when Cindy and Sandy came walking home from School. They are getting so tall, If I squint my eyes, I can see them growing. We started talking about the holiday and I asked them if they were excited about Christmas. Cindy told me that she likes Christmas but she REALLY likes Hanukkah. I thought that was an interesting response so I pressed further and asked why? Was she Jewish? (knowing full well that this Guatemalan family who goes to Mass every Sunday was indeed not Jewish). "No. I am not Jewish" she said. "But I like the idea of sitting around with your family. Lighting candles. And loving your family without presents." She went on to say, "And I like the thingy that the candles go in."

I was so shocked by her observation that I could barely contain myself. Well, Cindy do I have a surprise for you. We happen to have a thingy that the candles go in. You want to see it? So I brought Cindy and Sandy inside our house. And there in the window sill is the thingy or better known as the Menorah right next to the well decorated and finely lit Nine foot Douglas fir.

Wide eyed and mouths open they just stood there in silence. They had never seen a menorah live and in technicolor. Put that next to a Christmas tree and well, it just didn't make sense to them. We talked about the significance of lighting candles. They asked me how I get to light a menorah if I'm not Jewish. I said you marry a Jew who celebrates Christmas. They barely acknowledged the tree and asked so many questions about faith, religion and what it all means. They said they would rather light candles than get presents. I need to tell their parents, I could save them hundreds of dollars.

I find the whole thing fascinating. And I sit in amazement by these eleven year old girls who teach me something every time they walk by. I don't know if they truly comprehend it all. I don't think I truly comprehend it all.....and I'm pretty sure that their parents will never let me, the crazy liberal pagan Jewish Christan Buddhist animal lover who doesn't have children, talk to their twin girls again. Or maybe they will.

We are getting through the adoption papers. Under the question what religion are you I've discovered there is no box for Jewish by association, Buddhist when I meditate, Christan because I was baptized when I was 13, Pagan, Spiritual being who loves God. Conundrum.

Note to Self: Religion is a label. Spirituality is your heart.