How I Celebrated Christmas With Family As A Lone Believer

Standing before friends and family in December 2012 humming my Bar Mitzvah Torah portion in mediocre Hebrew, you would have had a better chance of convincing me an apocalypse of some sort would occur than the idea I’d believe in Jesus nine years later. But here we are.

As the only self-proclaimed Christian in a secular Jewish family, I’ve had to carve out my own Christmas experience. Last year with my mother, this year my older sister too.

It’s Christmas and all — and it’s a cheerful time — but the whole thing can be frustrating. As someone with a non-Christian family not necessarily thrilled about the idea of conversion, you see people you know having a festive, attractive, and sophisticated experience that is distant. Decorations, ornate trees, dishes, families gathered and endlessly smiling, and so on. They are showcasing traditions you did not grow up with and never witnessed as a kid. Envy sets in.

For others who may have recently found Christ, and are now navigating how to do Christmas with their non-believing families, here are some tips through things I’ve learned in the past few years. Hopefully, this can be of use for other retired Jews, or otherwise, whose families may look at them like out-of-place converts rocking the boat or just have no idea what is going on.

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