After reading the article “Interfaith Families Embrace Holidays” (Sentinel, Dec. 18) about interfaith families celebrating both Judaism and other religions, I am of the opinion that this has to be extremely confusing to children.
If a couple is both Jewish and Catholic, and are mixing the two together, they are doing an injustice to the children. These two religions are completely antithetical to each other, and for sure, Christmas and Hanukkah have absolutely nothing to do with each other, other than the fact that they fall near each other on the calendar. The messages of each holiday are also different from one another, and celebrating them together dilutes the meaning of each.
Similarly, Hanukkah had nothing to do with presents, only Hanukkah money, which children received when playing with the dreidel, a Hanukkah game. Presents began when children noticed that others of different faiths were receiving them, and so a new tradition began.
Marketers also became aware of how receiving Christmas presents would impact Jewish children and very cleverly marketed to this group, as well.
However, the bottom line is, do children consider these holidays about presents, trees and menorahs, or do they understand what each one represents, and how they are diametrically opposed to one another?