How do you celebrate the, um, holidays?

by Anti-Racist Parent columnist Jason Sperber, originally published at Rice Daddies

holidaysWe put up our Christmas lights this weekend — well, we tried to put them up, but seeing as how four of five strings of icicle lights, which worked when I tested them individually, decided not to work when I had already gotten them up on the frakkin’ house, I guess I’ve gotta run to Target on my lunch break tomorrow.

Here in Bakersfield, of course, the first weekend of December is already late — Christmas-happy residents tend to follow the big-box retailers’ decorating lead and get stuff up by Thanksgiving eve, if not before.

Notice, however, that I’m saying “Christmas.” Here in Bakersfield, California’s own red-state-within-a-blue-state, we don’t take nicely to all that p.c. secularizing “holiday” talk. And the fact that, you know, there are other holidays, like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Diwali, the winter solstice, Secular Capitalist Shopping Days, whatever? Well, that kind of talk just ain’t kosher. Heh.

[You wanna check out the kind of stuff I gotta "monitor" on my company's community blogs? Check this one out as an example.]

Anyway, in my household, with our toddlergirl old enough to enjoy ripping paper off of presents this year and my Filipina Catholic better half covering the religious part of our daughter’s education [though my dear wife keeps cracking up watching me read The Pumpkin's current fave bedtime story request, a Christian kiddie prayerbook that she calls "Dear God, Amen"], I do my part to mix it up, pun intended, by reppin’ secular ethnic (half-)Jewishness with brisket and latkes sometime in December. Not sure how to incorporate sansei grandma’s Buddhism yet–though, of course, the brisket recipe is hers.

So, dear readers, how do you and yours celebrate the…winter holidays in all their myriad and hybrid incarnations?

Jason Sperber is a former stay-at-home-dad of a 2-year-old daughter (“The Pumpkin”) and the husband of a family physician (“la dra.”) living in California’s Central Valley. He is currently a writer/blogger/online community manager. A former high school social studies teacher, he has a background in ethnic studies and education for social justice. He writes the blog daddy in a strange landand coordinates Rice Daddies, the group blog by Asian American dads. He can be reached at

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