Thursday, December 09, 2010

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas - Jenna Bayley-Burke

Like most Jewish kids, I love Christmas. The glitz, the glamour, the made-for-TV movies. Chanukah is a minor holiday and the gifts tended to disappoint. Sometimes we’d wind up with nothing after losing our stash of chocolate coins in a heated game of dreidel.

But Christmas meant gawdy ornaments and long wish lists to the mysterious Santa Claus (Hanukkah Harry is a recent invention…and yes, he would totally beat up Kris Kringle). We had to sing about Christmas in music class, read about it in school, and Christmas specials peppered the television. I loved that sparkling, snow globe idea of Christmas.

With our kids, we’ve opted for an ‘any-excuse-for-a-present-or-cake’ approach. This means they have to suffer through a nearly carb-free Passover week, yet the month of December can turn into a festival of gifts. This year, Hanukkah kicked off the month, and with the lead-up to Christmas filled with family events, my kids won’t see three days in a row without being handed some kind of new form of entertainment.

We’ve made a tradition of having family gifts for Hanukkah – one year was a Wii and games, other years have been board games, craft/cooking projects, or restaurant dinners. Relatives bestow what they will, and Santa delivers stockings for Christmas morning.

I think my best holiday memories are the ones I am making right now with my cherubs. There’s nothing quite like candlelight bathtime, baking cookies, or handing out Happy Meals as we drive through the neighborhood looking at the Christmas lights.

Jenna writes classic and contemporary romance with a fun, sexy twist. She spends far too much time on Facebook and promises to blog and tweet regularly next year. (A resolution already!) Look for Private Scandal next spring.

Jenna's contributing her book Compromising Positions to the prize box!  To be entered, please send me an e-mail with the clue of DREIDEL!


  1. Hi Jenna thanks for being here today, sharing your christmas memories with us and contributing Compromising Positions to the prize box.

    Happy Holidays.

  2. Thanks so much, Jenna. I love your ideas about celebrating the season with family gifts and candlelit bathtimes!

    I think my friends growing up would have liked Hanukkah Harry. But I was always jealous because they had days of presents, not just one. Most of their parents went bigger on the presents, even though it was a minor holiday.

    Again, great post.

    Peace, Julie

  3. Hi Jenna,

    I loved reading about your memories and hope you continue to make a lot more. I don't have children but my sister shares her family with us so I have lots of memories involving kids and Christmas.

  4. Thanks for your Holiday memories. Very interesting to me. I do not know much about the Jewish holidays. They sound like fun.

  5. Hi Jenna, I have always been fascinated by Chanukah. I love the songs and the traditions. thanksf or sharing.
    debby236 at att dot net