Tackling the Tree

The other day my daughter came home from school with a new piece of artwork, a Christmas Tree. She attends an aftercare program at her Public School and that day, they had read a Christmas-themed book. They also participated in Christmas-themed crafts. She had taken a lot of time to complete her art project and was very excited to show me. It’s important to note that we are a culturally traditional household, who take pride in celebrating all of the Jewish holidays and traditions that come with them. So, when I saw the picture of the Christmas Tree, I honestly didn’t know how to respond. I simply praised her creativity and we brought the artwork home. As my husband festively decorated our house for Hanukkah last night, my daughter was quite upset to see this morning that one of her pictures was not featured on our wall. When I asked which picture was missing, she showed me her Christmas Tree. I sat down with her and explained to her that our family celebrates Hanukkah. And that she has friends that celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and some who celebrate both and that’s OK. I asked her why her picture was so special to which she replied “I worked very hard on it.” I then asked her if she would be interested in making a new picture with me to include on our Hanukkah wall. She replied yes, but wanted to still keep her artwork. I took her artwork and hung it up on our magnetic board in the kitchen, where artwork is featured on a weekly basis. In essence, I tried to differentiate “artwork” from “holidays.” How would you have responded?

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