The New Jew and Christmas: Trying to avoid an awkward holiday season

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The holidays are fast approaching.  I am both ready for it, and dreading it a little.  While my family is not overly religious, Christmas was always a big deal.  Yes, even to my mother, the self-proclaimed atheist who believes in an afterlife.  So what is a new Jew to do?  Luckily I am married and live pretty far from home.  I will be able to avoid those awkward gift exchanges.  I am already getting the questions about gifts.  1) I still like presents. 2) Jews give presents for Hanukkah.   I don’t want to offend my family in any way.  My mother already got upset when she told me she bought me Christmas tree ornaments and I informed her that I was Jewish and would not have a tree this year.  That seems to be the part people forget.  I am Jewish now, I do things a little different.  How have you handled such a delicate issue?  I will let you know how I make out! 

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