I love winter. It's my favorite season for multiple reasons. One, it's cold. I'd so much rather be bundled up than craving AC. Two, snow. Need I say more? Three, snow + cold = viable excuse-I-mean-reason for hot chocolate. Three, snow days? Yes. And four, the holidays.
I say in the title that I get a double dose of holidayness, because I do: my family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. (We also do Passover and Rosh Hashana and other traditions during the year.) My mom is Jewish, my dad Christian, and they raised my sister and I with traditions of both religions.
To me, this is really neat. It's always been a factor in my life, a factor I love. I feel celebrating both holidays and having parents from different backgrounds has allowed me to have an open-minded approach to life. Also, my mom makes killer latkes and I love having a lit-up tree in the living room.
When I was younger I read a book called "The Christmas Menorahs." (I recommend everyone read this!) It's a touching book, with a touching concept of different religions being celebrated at the same time while a community fights hate. In the story, Christian families set out menorahs to support their Jewish neighbors, who were being targeted by a hate group. At the time I read the story I thought, this is so cool. I have a tree and a menorah, too! (I read it again when I was older, and absorbed more of the "bigger" concept.)
In high school, so far, I've gathered two friends who also celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. When I was younger I thought my sister and I were the only ones (in the microcosm of my elementary school), but I'm glad that's not the case.
So happy holidays everyone, and have a great time, however you celebrate!