The Santa Conundrum: Adventures In Interfaith Parenting

This morning, my friend Laura hosted a “Santa and Me” party at the Americana at Brand…which if you don’t live in Los Angeles, is basically like they took Main Street from Disneyland, populated it with designer shops, and plopped it in the middle of a major metropolitan area. So, y’know…awesome.

At Christmastime, it snows there. Which is novel because it doesn’t snow anywhere else in The Valley. (By the way, do you read Laura’s site? You should. She blogs about all sorts of unexpected things at Hollywood Housewife.)  

Anyway, Dee and I took the morning off of regular life, which included work, preschool, and our being [mostly] Jewish, and listened to Christmas Carols in the rain while we cruised down the freeway to Glendale to mingle with some of our favorite blogland friends. Because, let’s be real. Those pictures are a childhood milestone. This is THE SANTA. It’s at minimum a two hour wait to meet THE Santa on a regular day, and here Laura was inviting us to do it at our leisure and with refreshments? Don’t mind if I do.

The aforementioned rain had moved the festivities off of Santa’s front porch and in to the mystical Barnes and Noble that’s conveniently North-Pole adjacent, where we were greeted by not only Laura and her family, but the luminous Heather and her crew, plus Delilah’s future mother-in-law Jess and Dee’s betrothed Wyatt whom Delilah immediately wanted to show her stuffed dog wearing bunny ears, so…so far so good.

{photo stolen from Jess}

Except, as I mentioned, our family is mostly Jewish. My husband was raised Catholic and I’m not in the business of asking people to relinquish beloved life-long traditions. So the slant on Judaism that Delilah is being raised with is slightly different than my own more traditional-yet-still-reformed upbringing. Mainly in that it includes a Christmas Tree. But…as I realized this morning, while we’ve discussed raising a Jewish daughter in an interfaith marriage ad nauseum over the years…we’ve never actually talked about how we planned on dealing with Santa Claus. So, while Delilah lives in the world and is familiar with him in the same way she is with Mickey, in that he’s a character in movies who apparently also has a house you can visit to see him in the flesh, I’m not sure she understands the concept that he’s the guy putting presents under the tree and naughty and nice and all that jazz. Or rather, that the whole “Santa” thing is a generally accepted concept and not just the plot of the DVD she refers to as “Christmas Mickey”.  …continue reading…

Feed Me Seymour