were a fad in the eighties, and I fell for it. There wasn’t an adult I knew, who didn’t join in the hunt for an available baby doll to “adopt.” My husband went all over the city to find one to give to our daughter Rachel for . We gathered at my Aunt’s that year, (on Christmas) as we always did, to exchange gifts. David carried in the prize: gift-wrapped and ready for loving! Rachel opened it, saw Verna Jean, and fell in love. It was our family’s first bi-racial adoption. David discovered that Cabbage Patch dolls didn’t get adopted as quickly in the lower income African-American neighborhoods.

And now, in this stage of life, I celebrate Hannukah with prayers for religious freedom instead of creating a Jewish faux Christmas. It’s so much more… Me. I have the best of both worlds. I have Christians in my family now; who show me the true spirit of Christmas. Although our traditions are not the same, our values are. I’m off the hook for bearing gifts and respected for observing the holiday season Jewish-ly.

What a delight to find the perfect mix of devotion and celebration! How blessed to be able to blend the old and familiar with the new and different. Thanks be to God for the gift of prayer I am able to give and receive.

You who see me at my worst
make me be my best.
Struggling with the stress of the season,
remind me:
happiness has seldom depended
on a spotless home,
an endless buffet
or love given
from holiday packages.
I know I can't be flawless
I can only be me.
Please, I need your reassurance  
that I am perfect
with all my imperfections.



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