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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

“So we want to make certain that you are feeling well at Christmas!” enthused the doctor.

Beernut cast a sidelong glance in my direction.

After the pediatrician had made the third such culturally-incorrect comment, Beernut looked about ready to jump out of his seat. Wanting to correct the doctor, he found himself unable to say anything other than whisper “you tell her.”

Hearing that we don’t celebrate Christmas because we are Jewish, the doctor made the obligatory “oh, I have lots of Jewish friends” comment, whereupon she launched into a description of the garish “Chanukah” decorations used by her friends including blue-and-white Christmas lights and a large Christmas Tree “Chanukah bush.” “You know,” she said, “because most of my friends are in mixed marriages. But those kids are the luckiest, don’t you agree? They get so many presents.”

Beernut looked horrified and I, in a most uncharacteristic manner, said nothing. I think that she was trying to find a point of commonality and had no inkling how very uncomfortable the entire conversation was for us.

But I was curious to know what Beernut thought about the doctor’s assumption that kids who celebrate both Christmas and Chanukah are “the luckiest.” After all, he is a kid. And what kids doesn’t love getting presents?

FrumeSarah: So do you agree with what the doctor said?
Beernut: Not. At. All.
FrumeSarah: Why not?
Beernut: I think it would be too confusing. Plus they would have to go to shul and church all the time. Fridays and Sundays. Plus Religious School. Families should pick just one.

Some time after…

Beernut: So Mom, what date does Christmas fall on this year anyway?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Amitzah permalink
    Wednesday, 1 December 2010 11:12 pm

    You have got to love that kid.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:10 am

      I know. So cute.

  2. Wednesday, 1 December 2010 11:30 pm

    answer to beernut’s question: Shabbes, the 18th of Tevet. It floats around though — some years it’s much earlier 😉

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:10 am

      Great answer 😉

  3. Thursday, 2 December 2010 5:04 am

    I ❤ Beernut 🙂

    Seriously, though, might be time to get a doctor who knows you a little better? I'm just sayin'….then again, who am I kidding, right? I have the only non-Jewish OB around for miles….! (our family practice doctor is MOT though, and he spends 2 weeks at Ramah each summer. love it!)

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:11 am

      Our pediatricians are MOT. However, it was a same-day appointment and this was the only doctor on at the time.

  4. Thursday, 2 December 2010 6:08 am

    “What date does Christmas fall on” — hee!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:12 am

      When I shared this with my husband, his response was “you’ve done such a great job with them!”

  5. Zebulun permalink
    Thursday, 2 December 2010 8:05 am

    Been there. All too often.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:13 am

      Yeah. It’s so tough being outside the cultural norm. I was at a shiur yesterday where it was mentioned that historically, we Jews have embraced our differences. Which is what this holiday is really about.

  6. Former Reform Jew permalink
    Thursday, 2 December 2010 8:41 am

    I wouldn’t have said anything to the doctor either. There’s no point in debating the issue of intermarriage in that setting.

    Now, if Beernut on his OWN would have told off the doctor………THAT would have been amusing… :p

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:16 am

      I don’t think that it was a matter of telling off the doctor. After all, as a non-Jew, I don’t think she understands the implications of Jews who celebrate both.

      Also, Beernut has two cousins who are in a family where both traditions are honoured. So even though all three of our kids staunchly proclaim how important it is to for Jews to marry Jews, they are also sensitive to the choice made by their aunt and uncle.

  7. Thursday, 2 December 2010 9:52 am

    That actually made me snort-laugh (Beernut’s comment at the end.).

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 2 December 2010 10:17 am

      I believe it because I had to stifle mine 😉

  8. Thursday, 2 December 2010 7:17 pm

    December is tricky for those outside of the cultural norm. Beernut has a good grasp of things – you’ve done well.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 12 December 2010 9:58 pm

      Thanks 😉 His grasp is better on some things than on others!

  9. Thursday, 2 December 2010 8:00 pm

    I liked your son’s answer! And I’m so happy to find your blog! I feel like we’d probably see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues. (My husband and I finally started calling ourselves “Reformadox.” . . . more intellectually honest than saying we’re Conservative or Conservadox. Anyway, I just started blogging three weeks ago on my own blog. I found your blog by looking through the blog of someone who left a comment on mine. The magic of the internet!

    Happy Hanukkah! Nina 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 12 December 2010 10:16 pm

      Wow — your blog is super, Nina. Just added it to my Google reader so that I don’t miss a post. And yes, I think we do see eye-to-eye 😉

      Hope it was a good Chanukah…and good luck with your wish list for next year!

      🙂 FS

      • Sunday, 12 December 2010 10:34 pm

        Yay! Honored!! Thank you so much for visiting! 🙂

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