The Maroon

Religious Traditions Mix During Holidays

Connor Tate, Staff Writer

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My parents practice different religions. My mom is Jewish, and my dad is Christian. If you were in this situation, how do you think you would handle it? We had to figure that out, and the way our family works nowadays might surprise you. In Judaism, the child’s religion is determined through the mother’s side. Therefore, I’m Jewish and have been since I was born. My father, however, is from a Christian family. His parents are regular churchgoers while my mom’s side of the family goes to the synagogue.


Here in Austin, my parents and I usually only see our relatives on holidays. Luckily, none of us are particularly strict about religion. Everyone gets along fine. My dad isn’t as serious about technically being Christian as his parents are, and is perfectly fine doing Jewish things with my mom and I when we do them, which is infrequently except for Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath.


In any other family, holidays might wind up being a bit inconvenient. My family, fortunately, gets along great with each other and is nothing if not fond of planning and scheduling get togethers. We have a system: Thanksgiving with my mom’s parents, and Fourth of July and Christmas (sans Santa; the presents are acknowledged to be from relatives) with my paternal grandparents. We all take turns at Passover – hosting rotates between me and my parents in Austin, my maternal grandparents in El Paso, and my Jewish aunt, uncle and cousins. Everyone does their own thing for the other holidays.


It’s a shame that it doesn’t seem to work above the familial level. If we could all agree on how religions could work together, the world would be a much better place. We could potentially avoid all the chaos and atrocities that have been caused by religious arguments if we could just learn to compromise.


In short, by working together and getting along well, even the most eccentric and religiously split-down-the-middle families can reach a compromise and make it work.

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Religious Traditions Mix During Holidays