Daycare December Dilemma

The adorable and sweetly-meant tshirt above illustrates the raison d’etre of this blog: what it is like to live Jewishly when 99.08 percent of the people around you aren’t Jewish. The Toddler came home with this “holiday gift,” which his teachers at daycare imagined to be a neutral, politically-correct offering. I am delighted to have it, mind you, because it is now a sacred object: it has my child’s hand and foot-print on it forever. I can never, ever get enough hand and feet prints, and if someone else does the messy work of getting them onto paper and fabric, so much the better. But, it is most definitely not neutral or politically correct. It is not a winter gift, a Frosty gift, or a holiday gift. It is a Christmas gift, and we don’t celebrate Christmas.

Ah well, as I find myself saying more and more often these days, “bless their hearts.” His teachers, like most people whom we bump into on a regular basis, do try. They make an effort to remember that we are Jewish, and that this might mean we have to be accomodated in some special way every now and then. For the Toddler at school, it means grilled cheese sandwiches on ham day (Thursdays). Other than that, he blends in till Easter or Christmas. That’s when he comes home with carefully described Spring Lambs and Spring Eggs, or in December, Reindeer Crafts and Frosty Cards. We don’t mention anything at school or even grumble in private. We are just grateful that they even try. They are loving, attentive, patient people who take excellent care of my kid. I can’t and won’t ask for anything more.

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