Being a part of an interfaith relationship or divorce for that matter has benefits and pitfalls. Interfaith relationships must negotiate matters which same faith couples often take for granted. Divorce attorneys often craft settlement agreements, which state, for example, that the children spend Jewish holidays with the Mother and the Christian holidays with the Father. This can sometimes make parenting time negotiations easier in that the parties need only negotiate the secular holidays. These Agreements often state that the holidays trump regular parenting time. What happens when holidays collide?
Next week, on November 28, 2013, a rare confluence will happen, Thanksgiving and Chanukah, will coincide for the first time since 1888. Moreover, Thanksgiving and Chanukah will not coincide again until November 27, 2070 fifty-six years from now.
Although Chanukah and Christmas are often in December, this is the first occurrence in a lifetime of “Thanksgivukkah.” Navigating these coinciding holidays can be especially difficult. Do you highlight the religious holiday and have Thanksgiving take a back-burner? Or vice versa? Do you celebrate the first night of Chanukah, November 27, 2013; then, have Thanksgiving predominate on November 28, 2013 while celebrating Chanukah; then, celebrate Chanukah for the final six days? When does each parent exercise parenting time?
In addition, Jewish and Christian interfaith married and divorced persons need to be particularly prepared as Chanukah and Christmas overlap roughly every three years. The next overlap is in 2016 when the first night of Chanukah is December 24, 2016 and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is December 25, 2016, the second night of Chanukah. It is better to prepare early for the upcoming holidays and any conflicts between secular and/or religious holidays rather than run into difficulties in the preceding days.
Here at Lesnevich and Marzano-Lesnevich, LLC, we help people navigate these difficult and personal decisions with dignity and understanding. Please contact us if we can be of assistance in negotiating parenting time when holidays overlap.
Hat-tip to Jewish In Seattle for the image.