Of course as a mom, you always think your kids are the smartest, but it always takes you by surprise when they are also wise!
When I converted, our oldest, Lyon was 9 and Adam was 6. We had been raising them as Catholics and that included, of course, having a Christmas tree and Santa Claus.
I came from a devout Catholic family. I have 5 siblings and Christmas was a big deal at our house. We made decorating the tree a family "event" and my dad read from the New Testament before we opened any presents on Christmas Eve. We always left milk and cookies out for Santa and "baby Jesus" would magically appear in the Nativity set under the tree on Christmas morning.
I wanted the boys to have these same memories. However, Frank was not Catholic and we always "helped" Daddy celebrate Hanukkah and we always taught there was no "right" religion. We kept separate the menorahs and the Christmas decorations and taught the boys they were distinct holidays.
So, when I converted and had my ceremony in August, Christmas wasn't of immediate concern. Around the end of September and the beginning of October when all the stores were starting to go crazy bringing out all the decorations, I asked the boys what they thought about us having a tree now that we had a Jewish home. I must admit I wanted a tree. I had had one for 40 years and it was truly part of my DNA! I had convinced myself that if the boys wanted one, then it would be ok for us to have one! Boy was I in for a surprise. Adam, who was only six, said, "Mom, we can't have a tree. It would be like taking something that was important to someone else and using it when it doesn't belong to us and that's not right. So we can't have a tree." So I said, "What about Santa Claus?" Lyon spoke up then and said, "You know Mom, even though he brought presents, the idea of a stranger coming into the house in the middle of the night, really scared me, so I am glad he won't be coming any more!"
I remember this story at this time of the year when I miss a tree and all the trimmings! I have great kids!