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Couplehood has it’s problems always and new relationships in the building phase have added burdens, with some bringing more to the table than others. Robbie and I have jumped some of the more important hurdles early on, family acceptance and such went off so smoothly as not to be believed and only a couple of “friends” have expressed disapproval. My mother adores Robbie, his Dad and I get along famously, my Son knew Robbie already so no issue there. On Thanksgiving I finally met his Mother. Robbie’s family Thanksgiving was at his mom’s now ex-2nd husband’s where we weren’t so sure I was welcomed as the guy is a bit homophobic so I made other plans to occupy my day until it was time to go to my family Thanksgiving.

Robbie was 1st at his former step dad’s place and he was shocked when asked,” Where’s Daniel, I had assumed he’d be with you”. So, before we left for Mom’s we stopped back together for proper introductions and all went quite well. What in the world, this is all just too easy, right? Good, one Holiday down!

As most readers of this column know, I’m Jewish and somewhat observant, Robbie is not Jewish, not particularly religious either, but he just loves Christmas! I mean out and out apeshit for the lights, snow, trees, presents, music, decorations…if it’s Christmas he loves it! One of the first concerns he expressed to me early in our relationship was whether Christmas would be an issue.

Fortunately he is informed enough to know that Hanukkah is NOT the Jewish Christmas, and he knew some of the story behind the celebration so it wasn’t like working with a blank slate. I appreciated his concern about my feelings. Coming from a mixed background and having certainly celebrated my share of Yuletides in my lifetime I’m no stranger to the Holiday, not by any means. Hey, the lights are pretty, and while some of the decorations are a bit much there’s lots of beauty in most of them and Jews wrote the best Christmas music!

Robbie drives a Suburban that he decorates with lights every year. I was teasing him about the lights not being quite enough. One day while he was working I surprised him by attaching pine garland and ornaments to the luggage rack, careful not to obscure the lights. Sneaky me, I created a Chrismanukkah theme with six pointed blue star ornaments. He was pleased with the outcome and loves it whenever someone  comments on it, we’ve been stopped by strangers in traffic and a window rolls down, a passenger in the next car calling out,” I love it!”

Hanukkah is next week, eight days of food and lights and gifts. It will be Robbie’s first time experiencing it and I do plan on getting all my decorations and Hanukkyot (9 candle Hanukkah Menorahs) out and up and I’ll introduce him to latkes and sufganyot. And we will do our first Christmas together and with friends and family. It’s all about joy and love and good times with people we care about. It’s also about taking pleasure in the differences between each other, for the things that might otherwise separate us are the very things we should seek as means of understanding and appreciation of that which brings joy to those we love. Not that we’ll make a merger of the two celebrations, they are too distinctly different in nature and history, but there will be times when, due to the differences between the Julian and Lunar calendars, the two will overlap, loving and living under the same roof will demand, compromise isn’t the right word here, strategic thematic planning at times.

It’s love, it’s sharing what we love, it’s seeing the world through our Lover’s eyes. Maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad approach in viewing others no matter who they are in our lives.

Happy Holidays All!

Written by: Daniel