The friends and family who gathered were varied. In addition to many guests from our home state, we welcomed guests from the UK, Maryland, California and China. We also welcomed friends who immigrated to the US from France, China, and India. There were Christians, Jews, agnostics and atheists present. Some were raised with religion and no longer practice. Some were raised without religion and asked many questions about the practices of the Jews and Christians present. Two menorahs glowed beside a nativity brought back from Mexico.
What I love most about this annual event is the openness and sharing that occurs. We support each others' choice to practice a religion or not. We help each other celebrate. We break bread together. (Dumplings, knishes and latkes followed by lasagna, meatballs, Caesar salad and noodle kugel). We honor important family and religious traditions.
To me, this is the perfect way to celebrate during the month of December.
If you celebrated a holiday this season, I hope it was joyful, peaceful and full of traditions.
May we all find new ways to connect with those of different faiths this year, for that, I believe, is the best way to bring peace to our troubled world.