December is a Holiday Month, and in the spirit of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All”- as well as just celebrating friendship with ALL your friends, regardless of their culture and beliefs, why not host a multi-denominational holiday party?
Invite your friends to a “Christmas-hannukha-kwanzaa Bash”! Ask them to bring a traditional ornament or gift traditional for their culture: A Jewish dreidel, a Kwanza Kinara candle holder and, of course, a Christmas tree ornament. Don’t leave out your Asian and Muslim friends, either; invite them to share their Ramadan or Hmong New Year’s celebration as well.
Obviously It may be difficult at first to “break the ice”, especially if some guests are not well acquainted with each other; so make sure your guests understand the purpose and are comfortable with the format, and start off with a “getting to know you” session of introductions and small talk. Remember, it’s a party! Make sure everyone feels at home and mingles before the “show and tell” sessions.
The party is not “non-denominational”, it is “multi-denominational”. Have everyone share something about their culture and how they celebrate their holiday, explain the significance of the tree, the dreidel, the Kwanza Candle holder, and perhaps exchange gifts or souvenirs. Make it pot luck; everyone bring a dish of a traditional holiday meal to share.
The purpose is to share cultures among friends and have a party and celebrate that friendship — not to discuss theocracy. It may sound like a lot of work, but it’s really not much different that any pot luck gathering. The real payoff will be making new friends outside one’s familiar circle and culture. With luck, it will become a tradition in itself.
And isn’t that what a holiday is all about?