Jewish Christmas Treats. Yes, you heard right. You purists out there…allow me to explain.
My friend Grace grew up in Idaho* and returns home there most Christmases. In tow are her Jewish husband and children. This family travels to the mill town of Lewiston with a menorah, dreidel, and other holiday items when Chanukah and Christmas overlap.
Grace’s family–dyed-in-the-wool Lutherans who live on the banks of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers–look forward each year to Grace’s homecoming not only because they miss her, but also because she brings loads of Challah Connection Jewish treats with her…the kind of treats, like babkas, rugelach, black and white cookies, savory treats, chocolates, and other fun goodies–that they were first introduced to when my friend married her husband. The older relatives love to eat cinnamon babka warmed (and with margarine, my friend tells me!) while the young kids love gelt. No offense to the good people who run commerce in Lewiston, Idaho, but it’s just not the kind of thing my friend’s relatives are likely to find in the local stores.
It turns out that Jews are not the only ones who welcome and enjoy “Jewish” baked goods at this time of year. With small towns becoming increasingly international, it’s a welcome change of pace for noshers to receive something tasty, outside their usual comfort zone
I find it thrilling…another example of a world where we are allowed exquisite freedom to share in each other’s rituals, each other’s customs, each other’s foods, each other’s sweet holiday delights. It makes for a far more delicious world!
Happy noshing, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas!
*fun fact: Idaho’s Moses Alexander was the first Jewish governor in the United States