‘Merry Chrismukkah:’ How interfaith families celebrate the holidays

Source: USA Today

Meredith Newman, The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal

WILMINGTON, Del. — When Marc Insinga was a teenager, he frequently wrapped holiday gifts for his brothers and cousins in the wrong color wrapping paper: blue and white for Christmas or red and green for Hanukkah.

With a mother who was Jewish and a father who was Catholic, Marc and his brothers were raised in different faiths. Marc and his younger brother were raised in the Jewish faith, his older brother in the Catholic one.

His parents decided the fairest way to decide who would be raised in what faith was to flip a coin when Marc was five.

Now, the Wilmington resident is raising two young Catholic-Jewish girls, or second-generation “cashews” as he calls them.

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10 replies

  1. I urge Muslim around the world and Ahmadiyyah to join Christian to celeberate Christmas day, there is not thing wrong to enjoy together, Christian is our brother, offspring of Abraham.
    The extremist clerics say Muslim are forbidden to join Christian to celeberate Christmas. They are wrong, they hate Christian and Jews.
    Whereas Jesus is our prophet too.His teaching are excellent.

    Hopefully Ahmadiyya do not follow the advice or fatwa from the extremist clerics.

    Merry Christmas- Happy New Year

  2. I agree, Somi Tempo. There is nothing wrong with celebrating Christmas, it is a celebration of mixed origins. It started as the Winter Solstice, then later it was adopted by the Christians to celebrate the birth of Jesus, although he was not actually born at that time, but it suited the Romans to combine the various celebrations. And most of the decorations and traditions, such as the Christmas tree and others, again have their origins in Pagan festivals, based on nature. So all in all, we are celebrating the season, the changing of dark days to light, and that is why candles feature a great deal. Everyone can celebrate the event in their own way, Christians in a religious manner, and others can enjoy family gatherings, even Muslims can do so. So seasonal greetings with love and peace to all.

    • Thsnk you Renate..Another thump up for me, I feel so happy if there is some one who agree with my interpretation of Islam.
      What I trying to do here is to reform the ancient interpretation of Islam where the terrorist, Isis, taliban still implement the ancient interpretation of Islam.

    • No thanks. I do not see any benefit in joining in this pagen or Christian festival. Of course I do not mind those Christians who do celebrate it, but I am not so keen on Muslims ‘joining in’.

  3. The people of the Arabian peninsula would not have known about the darkness and cold conditions the people of the north would have had to endure for many months, and that celebrating the new light would have held much relevance for them then as it does now. It does no damage to anyone to give thanks, which is what it is all about. For those who wish to celebrate the birth of Jesus, that should be their prerogative, although many of the traditions have their roots in earlier traditions. But I have never keen on the way Christmas here in the UK is celebrated, which for many means excessive indulgence in food, drink and making merry, and it’s all too commercialised, whereas I remember beautiful Christmases with the main part being Christmas Eve in puritan manner, and other celebrations being left for the New Year. But things have changed globally, and all focus more on indulgences and commercialism, which doesn’t appeal to me either. So each to their own, there are many different ways to celebrate the holiday, or one can stay quietly at home with or without a little Christmas tree.

  4. Further, there are many cultures that celebrate the festival of Light: Hindus, Buddhists, Iranians, and Jesus was actually considered to be the ‘Light to the world’. And then there was the ‘Enlightenment’, we also refer to ‘seeing the light’. I presume that all have their roots in the same source, but it’s a long topic which can’t be debated in a couple of sentences, but worthy of further investigation.

    Somi Tempo. You are going to have difficulty to convince people who live rigidly by any book and scriptures to open doors to the wider world and the light beyond.

    My seasonal message is always Peace and Love. That message covers all religions and cultures.

  5. Renate wrote:
    Somi Tempo. You are going to have difficulty to convince people who live rigidly by any book and scriptures to open doors to the wider world and the light beyond.==

    I never give up as long as God give me chance to do it. I Know, only God can open people mind and heart. My duty is just to convey it the rest is up to God alone.
    This is a big challange but I love it to convey the truth, the truth of God word.

    Merry Christmas to every one who love Jesus and his teaching. His teaching is pretty much of LOVE.
    With love❤️

    • Of course let the Christians wish each other Merry Christmas. Nice for them. But I personally do not feel the need ‘to join the crowd’. Muslims wishing Muslims Merry Christmas I find just plain silly actually.

  6. Rafiq – Wish your neighbours a pleasant day, whoever they are. No need to say Merry Christmas. I personally don’t care for the word ‘Merry’ in this context, since it invokes meaning of alcohol and indulgence, which doesn’t appeal to me. For most secular Christians these days Christmas is similar to the American Thanksgiving, a time for family to get together, many don’t even know what it’s all about, that is the Winter Festival and/or celebrating the birth of Jesus. But it can be a very pleasant time, and I know some Jews, Hindus, and yes, even Muslims have a Christmas tree with lights and enjoy the time. If it brings people together in peace for even a short time, I see nothing but good in that. Likewise, wish your neighbours a Happy Hannukah, Diwali or Eid, if the opportunity exists.

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