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Real Tree, Fake Tree, No Tree, Menorah, Other?

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Leyland
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Post by Leyland » Sat December 6th, 2008, 1:20 pm

My mother would always buy a real tree at the beginning of December when I was growing up. She'd keep it outside until we could set it up and then decorate it on Dec 11th, my birthday. This made for quite a special birthday and I was always so happy that I was born two weeks early, rather than on Christmas Eve as expected!
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Ash
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Post by Ash » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:01 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Oh and Ash-- this may be a little odd, but our family adopted the Jewish holiday of Purim. The kids read about it in 'All of a Kind Family' so we looked it up and it seemed like great fun. We read the whole book of Esther, stomp on Haman, (no spitting allowed inside) cheer on Mordecai, give the kids money and eat Haman-taschen. (sp?) .[/quote]

Its interesting that you chose Purim. Actually if a Jew celebrated the various holidays as they should be celebrated, they wouldn't miss Christmas one iota. Purim is a good example: there is dressing up in costumes, the reading of the story of Esther while yelling and singing and stomping our feet, there is the giving of presents and giving to the poor. Then there is Succot, a fall holiday that celebrates the harvest. Families build a Sukkah, a sort of gazebo covered in palms and decorated with anything the family wants. You eat and sleep out under the sukkah for a week, and often have friends and neighbors join you. Christmas? Nah, been there, done that (but seeing as I am no longer observant, I do need a little christmas, as the song says!)

Oh btw Chanukah is a minor holiday that is not even mentioned in the bible. The important days in Judaism are Rosh Hasanah, Yom Kippur, and Passover.

Oh and you missed one very important part of Purim - the dictate of 'you must drink and drink till you no longer can tell the difference between Mordecai (the hero) and Haman (the villian)'!
Last edited by Ash on Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "The Lantern Men" by Elly Griffiths
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Post by Madeleine » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:21 pm

Always fake - I had a green and silver one for years but a combination of wear and tear, and the dog attacking it, eventually meant there was very little of it left! Didn't have one for a few years but 2 years ago bought a small fibre-optic one which stands neatly on a small table and I just plug it in and off it goes, no bits of tinsel to clear up. although I do miss decorating it.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:36 pm

We did the dress-up thing, too. Didn't know about the drinking, but that would not have gone over.
Succot makes it onto our calendar because our friend Stuart ( a very conservative and observant Jew, as only a man with a formerly presbyterian, ultra-kosher wife can be) always has to build the darn thing, and he invariably borrows my husband's tools to do it.
J works in the computer industry, and his two friends have followed him through three jobs over the last twenty years: Stuart, mentioned above, and Mahmoud, a Pakistani. J usually gets the office in the middle. When there is trouble in the Middle East, these two pop out of their cubicles to argue and poor J has to arbitrate.

But then, he was on a project with a Hindu and a Sikh when the Golden Temple in Amritsar got bombed, and he says that so far nothing has been as bad as that.

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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Sat December 6th, 2008, 3:39 pm

For several years we had a real tree; then a few years ago we bought a really nice pre-lit artificial tree. But this year, with trying to get packed to finalized the move to Denver at the end of this month, we decided not to put up a tree or any decorations. Plus, we sold our nice tree to my daughter's boyfriend for his new house. It's really strange since this is the first year we've not put up anything - and without it, it doesn't feel much like Christmas.

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LCW
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Post by LCW » Sat December 6th, 2008, 7:07 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Oh and you missed one very important part of Purim - the dictate of 'you must drink and drink till you no longer can tell the difference between Mordecai (the hero) and Haman (the villian)'![/quote]

Now THAT sounds like a holiday I would love to celebrate!! :p
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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Sat December 6th, 2008, 7:50 pm

In theory our Christmas tree goes up on 1 December and comes down on 6 January. Having said that it isn't up yet, simply because the putting up of the tree is linked to the performance of chores for my son! Until they are all done, the tree doesn't happen!
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LCW
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Post by LCW » Sat December 6th, 2008, 8:01 pm

I put my tree and decorations up around 2 weeks before Christmas and they come down right after. While I love Christmas I don't feel the need to Celebrate it for an entire month. A couple weeks is plenty!! And I don't like Christmas to bleed into other holidays like Thanksgiving and New Years! I like each holiday to stand on its own!
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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SonjaMarie
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Post by SonjaMarie » Sat December 6th, 2008, 8:12 pm

When I was a kid, mom would put the tree up Christmas Eve and then my sister and I would be surprised in the morning. As we got older we still put it up on Eve but this time we decorated it too. Now we just put up our fake tree already decorated with our ornaments a few days or so before Christmas.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat December 6th, 2008, 8:50 pm

[quote=""LCW""]Now THAT sounds like a holiday I would love to celebrate!! :p [/quote]

When I was able to go to synagogue regularly, Purim was -the- time when everyone in the community cut loose. Our cantor, who was big, burly and bearded, with a magnificent voice, always had the part of Esther in the Purimspeil, and our Rabbi was pretty good with a saxiphone. So the reading of the megillah was always a near riot.

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