ne memorable Advent, I wondered if I was going to set our kitchen table on fire when I started lighting all the candles amassed on its surface. There were four thick pastel candles on our Advent wreath and six slender primary ones in our nearly-full Chanukah menorah, properly known as a chanukiah. My husband and I are both Jewish followers of Jesus and wanted our children to connect with the hope and history embedded in both observances. It seemed like a good idea until I realized that our kitchen table was starting to look like a campfire without the s’mores.
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As a Jew, I’d grown up celebrating Chanukah. My parents emphasized that Christmas and Easter were Gentile holidays, and as a result, I never paid much attention to them. So how did a nice, Chanukah-celebrating Jewish girl like me come to embrace Advent? [Read more]