Christmas isn't the only non-secular tradition I embrace. Over the years, I've been known to carve a pumpkin or two on Hallowe' en and my kids have been known to attend an Easter egg hunt or two. But Christmas tradition are the ones I like the most.
By the way, you'll notice that I said Christmas "tradition" and not Christmas "holiday." I do know that deep down underneath the piles of presents, strings of lights, and the big guy in red, there is actual religion involved. But for me, a Jew who's only experience with the church involves ballet lessons in the basement, Christmas is about two things: well-behaved children and cookies.
Last year, I heard about this thing called "Elf on a Shelf." Have you heard of this?
|"Snow White" and his seven dwarves.|
This is exactly what he told me in his best Eddy Haskell-esq sing-songy voice when he and my mom returned. And what he repeated every time he chose the angel over the devil on his shoulders in the days that followed. Well, I'm not one to squash a little boy's dreams (or a tired mom's peace) so I let him go on believing this was true. And on Christmas morning, my "nice" little boy woke up to a toy-stuffed stocking hanging on his bedroom doorknob. That tradition continued for six more years...or until him and his baby sister were safely clear of the terrible years.
Was I sad to leave this tradition behind? I would've... had it not been for cookies. At the same time that I was giving up the stocking, I was learning about this magical event called