QUESTION FROM A GREEK TRAGEDY READER: I married a Jew who hates, HATES Christmas and has been grumbling about it so much that it’s hard for me to even get excited this year – and I so want to because I’m pregnant and need to ornament my nest. He says I’ll just never understand why he doesn’t like it. I get that it’s not his holiday and before I came along it was always something that other people did, but he doesn’t have to be such a grump. I said we could do Hanukkah if he would rather, but he’s not religious and feels like he’d be a hypocrite if we did. I just want a holiday to be excited about and make crafts and cookies damn it! Anyway, I know you’re a Jew who likes her some Christmas and I’m just looking for ANY suggestions for warming him up to the idea of holidays.
ANSWER: “It’s hard for me to even get excited this year.” Your fault, sister. You’re letting him be the squeaky wheel. You need to stand strong. As much as he grumbles, you won’t let the “grinch” ruin your good holiday mama cheer. Soo…
Avoid angels, crosses, and the color red. Instead focus on Old Man Winter. Snowflake cookies, mittens, and baby booties. Sleds and cocoa. Bake cookies (hard to resist his favorites). Throw a cookie swap party! Wear winter whites with arctic themed leg warmers and slippers (Target has them aplenty).
How to soften him up? Do what makes you happy. Be full of joy and love, and you’ll be hard to resist. When he makes a face, pouts or huffs, ignore it. Don’t make it a discussion. Let HIM bring it up if it still bothers him. You are NOT allowed to whine, “Why can’t you just enjoy it?!” Instead, you enjoy it and let him sulk, but don’t feed into it. Let him have his tantrum.
Listen sister, you can’t let him crush your spirit and joy or you’ll resent him. If it does become a discussion, do what I do, tell him it’s not about Christ’s birth and it’s not religious for you, it’s festive and crafty and creative, and most importantly, it’s about traditions. You want to keep the traditions you have had, traditions he had (offer to make latkes and incorporate any of his family traditions, too), and then think up some traditions of your own. Something new that’s just yours. That doesn’t work? Get him piss drunk off eggnog and call it a day.