It is a truth universally acknowledged that it can be difficult to be Jewish at Christmas time. It has seeped into North American cultural consciousness so thoroughly that South Park even wrote a song about it, complete with trademark expletives.
Jewish communities around the world marked the "new year for the trees" last week with tree planting ceremonies and seders that celebrate Israel's seven species (wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates if you are keeping track!).
Last year, my pre-school-aged daughter was acutely aware that her friends and their families would be celebrating Christmas and that she wasn’t going to be a part of it.
"15th of Shevat;" New Year of the Trees; Jewish Arbor Day, which is a minor festival.