The Celebration of Both Hanukkah and Christmas

February 26, 2020
Sarah Adams

Medford, New Jersey, United States

Class of 2020

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As the holiday season is coming to a close, I would like to share with you all how the Adams family travels through this crazy time. The day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a great way to kick off the holiday. My family and I like to get up early to get all the good deals. I am not a morning person, so getting up early is a struggle for me, but it is always exciting to rush into stores and see how low the prices drop. After a short nap, we head out in search of a Christmas tree. 

My family has tree shopping down to a science at this point: roughly 10-12 feet tall and either a Douglass or Fraser fir. We are specific about our tree because it has to last throughout the whole holiday season and my family loves the smell of their fresh pine needles. After we pick out the tree, it gets hoisted on my dad’s car and we head home. Getting the tree into its rightful spot can be tricky. It usually takes all four of us the get the tree from the car into the house, minus hoping the dog doesn’t interfere too much. By now, the whole family is physically exhausted and we don’t start decorating the tree until a couple of weeks later. 

Once we start decorating the big tree, we put up a smaller tree in the front window dressed and surrounded by all of our Hanukkah decorations. Underneath this tree is where we store the smaller Hanukkah gifts.

It has become a tradition to spend the first night of Hanukkah over at our family friend’s house. We’ve known them since before I was born, so they are practically our family. There are always new guests arriving at their house, so we teach them the prayers and invite them to light the candles with us. I like teaching new people the Hannukah prayers because I think it's important that we learn about different religions and beliefs, this in turn helps people to be more open-minded. After we light candles at my family friend’s house, we head home and have a small ceremony at home. 

As Christmas rolls around, we open presents on Christmas day and then head over to my grandmother’s house. Christmas day is one of the only times that I see all of my extended family in one place.  Some of my cousins just had kids, which means I get to play with babies! As my cousins grow older, everything begins to be put into perspective. Although I am only seventeen, I remember holding some of my cousins when they were babies, and now they are six and ten. 

I enjoy being able to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas because I believe that although they are celebrated for different reasons,I love how both bring people together. I love the positivity and joy that is correlated with the holiday season and I love giving back throughout the season. I hope that everyone had a joyful holiday season and happy holidays BBYO.

Sarah Adams is a BBG from Dafna BBG #1110 in South Jersey Region and is a drum major in marching band.

All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.

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