From September to December, there are many opportunities to introduce a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family as well as your family’s annual traditions. How do you celebrate the High Holy Days? Hanukkah? Thanksgiving? And even Christmas and New Year’s Eve?
Warm Holiday Memories: Jewish Edition
Celebrating the holidays is an amazing time to be together and to reminisce about where these traditions began … your great great aunt’s banana bread recipe with the secret ingredient that keeps it moist … that time the table’s centerpiece caught on fire and candles were outlawed from gatherings … going to the same family’s home year after year for Break the Fast … eating Chinese food at the same restaurant every Christmas Eve and seeing a movie Christmas Day … making a fried food for each of the eight crazy nights. Everyone has their rituals and they lend a sense of comfort and familiarity.
When my Mom spends two days cooking her famous brisket, the scent wafts through the house and I recognize the smell I call “Jewish.” So blending someone new into the fold and having to explain where these rituals came from and why they’re important is also a good way to remind yourself why dating Jewish is a priority. For me, I wanted to carry on these traditions, to host holidays in my future household, to have those smells permeate my walls.
Blending Traditions: Easier Said Than Done
When you’re seriously dating another member of the tribe and you begin sharing these rituals, you will obviously find that they have their own traditions. Take the time to learn about their traditions and imagine how you would possibly combine them if you were to start a family together. Which are you not willing to give up? Which of their traditions sounds like a great one to incorporate? This is a great way to see how each of you is willing and able to compromise.
Remember that when you marry someone, you also marry their family. So if your significant other hasn’t run for the hills between the Jewish New Year and the secular New Year, then it’s a pretty good indication that you’re both on the same page and you can begin the conversation about where the relationship is heading. Sharing the holidays with a serious significant other and your family may be just what a relationship needs to get to the next level.