As part of our authors’ 12 Days of Christmas, which will start on Friday 13, the AR/SC/EA team have been given space to blather on about what Christmas means to them. Earlier today we had Lee and now it’s the turn of the wonderful Wanda Modzelewska, one of our New York colleagues.

Remember to check out each day’s post to discover whose books are reduced to £1 in our Pre-Christmas Sale of Madness!

For my family, the holidays, while not celebrated in a thoroughly traditional manner, have always been the most important part of the year.  With a Catholic mother and a half-Jewish father, neither of whom really practice, Christmas and Hanukkah have morphed over the years into something along the lines of a Chanumas or a Christmanukkah – a day when we gather around my mother’s dining room table not so much to celebrate our two religions (although they do get respectfully acknowledged) but to celebrate being together.

While I don’t consider myself a religious person, I wished for a very long time that our holiday festivities were a bit more… defined. For years, I whined and moaned to my mother incessantly, asking that we either celebrate all eight days of Hanukkah or have a proper, traditional, twelve-course Polish Catholic dinner (this second demand was made in the prime of ignorance during my early teenage years, when I didn’t quite yet know what it meant to thrash around the kitchen to clobber together a simple dinner, let alone a twelve-course holiday meal). Over the years, however, the lack of a Christmas tree and Menorah, along with the presence of holiday ornaments hanging from the chandelier and our blue, sliver and white table setting have all grown on me, and eventually I realized that our holiday, while not Catholic or Jewish in a very defined sense, is still a proper holiday, because it always brings the whole family together. And in the end, isn’t that the point?


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