Rachael writes in with a question that makes me feel kind of sad:
"How do you deal with your kids interest/sadness/inclusion/exclusion at other religious celebrations? I’m sure this is less of an issue for people who celebrate Christmas, but may still come up. We’re Jewish, and my 3 year old is very frustrated that we won’t decorate our house with Santas/lights (we live in a neighborhood with lots of decorations going on). We’re decorating inside with Hanukkah decorations, but it’s not the same. I’m having a hard time with the “We do Hanukkah” line because, when you add it all up, Hanukkah kind of sucks in comparison to Christmas. Any thoughts?"
This makes me feel pretty crappy for you guys.
If the issue is outside lights, would it be completely inappropriate to put up lights? You could get a strand of white and a strand of blue. Or white icicle lights with blue ones roped around it. It's not traditional for Hanukkah, but Christians put up all sorts of blatantly ridiculous things for Christmas, so why shouldn't Jewish people go all crazy-American-holiday-fiesta, too?
And, of course, there's the eight days of presents of Hanukkah vs. only one day of presents of Christmas.
I think some non-Christian readers are going to have to give you some help here. I know lots of you must have ways you've developed to deal with the huge looming spectre of Christmas. Can you help Rachael out?