"cool, Naomi...Thanks for sharing" you may say to yourself, but let me explain. I have had the most amazing upbringing one can ask for. I was brought up in a middle-upper class city right outside of Boston in a very liberal community. Within that community, my family and I have an even tighter knit community of friends. 98% of which are all Jewish as well.
To me, Christmas never had a meaning, by that I mean I didn't grow up celebrating it nor did the majority of my friends. We were busy attending Hanukkah parties, spinning the dreidel and eating potato latkes during this time of year. I had a wonderful education, which included attending a separate hebrew school 1 or 2 times a week until I was 17. I was taught not only about Judaism, but other religions as well, Catholicism, muslim, and so forth. I consider myself to have a very open mind and so blessed that I was brought up learning about all different religions.
Fast forward to College in Upstate New York. This was a whole new ball game for me. I was used to living in a bubble where if you didn't celebrate Hanukkah, this was the minority. I was the first Jewish person my roommate had ever met in her life. I began noticing this was a trend with many people I met in college. If you simply take yourself our of your comfort zone, you can learn so much
"You don't celebrate christmas" she said to me and my other Jewish friend
"No, we celebrate Hanukkah, it is a Jewish religion" We said
"So, you don't have a christmas tree?...what do you do? I thought everyone had a christmas tree in their house at this time of the year" she said
"No, we don't have a christmas tree because the christmas tree represents Christmas, we have a menorah" we said
"But I thought the christmas tree was a universal symbol for this time of year"
....oh boy, we had so much to teach our friend. This was the actual conversation we had when we first met my roommate. Over the course of 4 years we enlightened her on the customs and differences between catholicism (what she believed in) and Judaism (what me and my friend believed it) To this day, my friend is now so much more cultured and always wishes us a happy Hanukkah or passover. She even kept passover with us for the 8 days to really become immersed in the religion.
Why am I telling you all this? for 23 years, December inevitably rolls around and I can't go anywhere without hearing christmas music, christmas colored decor, foods, photos and christmas themed gifts. I walked into TJMAXX the other day and half the store was filled with christmas goodies. Then I spotted a shelf that was dedicated to Hanukkah. It must not have been taller than 6 feet and wider than 2. Dreidel bowls, chocolate menorah's, candles and such filled the shelves. It was nice to see.
I am continually asked "what are you asking for for christmas?"
"I don't celebrate christmas" I say back
"No, you don't have to apologize, you didn't do anything wrong, I just celebrate Hanukkah" I politely say back
I have had this same conversation every year for 23 years
I am sharing this with you all for multiple reasons. one being to just be aware of those around you. Everyone is different and believes in different things. I have to remember this especially this time of year and be conscious of the fact that not everyone celebrates Hanukkah like me or christmas, there are other holidays and religions as well. I almost lost the top to my water Sigg water bottle at the gym the other day because it fell under a machine and a guy turned to me and said "well, I think you know what you will ask for for christmas this year" I just chuckled and continued on with my workout, but what I really wanted to say was "well actually, I won't be asking for anything because I don't celebrate Christmas" I held back, and just moved on
Another is to just share something about myself with you all. A part of blogging that I truly enjoy is getting to really know each and everyone of you , so when I check back everyday to your blog, I really feel like I am there with you. Its just a little something about myself I wanted to share!
I want to wish everyone a happy Holiday, whatever that holiday may be that you choose to celebrate!
**Have any of you struggled with close minded people? How do you deal with this?** for me, I like to not attack those who are close minded, but rather teach them so they have an appreciation of something that is 'out of their comfort zone"
Moving onto some oats from Yesterday Morning. Served in my new Zebra bowl!
1/3 C oatbran, blueberries, raspberries, chia, truvia, dollop of Cinagro honey maple PB
Turkey wrapped up in a Josephs Lavash with arugula, Sabra, tomatoes (tucked in there)
Beautiful salad topped with lite italian. Yellow peppers are so beautiful! I love the color combo in here
Greek yogurt doing a little cirque di soleil with an apple
Yes, I had a Fresca craving. I rarely drink diet soda, but I saw this in the machine and my body was screaming to it. Once in a while, I think diet soda is ok. Everything in moderation! and let me tell you, it was phenomenal!
Dinner was some fresh cooked chicken breast slices (my mom roasted the night before!) with sweet potato slices, carrots and pepper & onion mix from TJ's. I topped it all with cinnamon. Sound strange? well it was perfection! someone at work said it smelled like apple pie! YUM
Dessert before bed. 1/2 C cottage cheese, scoop PB2, blueberries, Honey maple Cinagro PB
Today I was back to the 4:15 wake up call for work at 5. It was Pouring rain but it was also 63 degrees out. Let me remind you it is December 3rd! It is 70 out right now! just incredible, I feel like I should be at a beach (ok, took it too far) But the weather is just beatiful and I am loving it!
after my 4.3 mile run I was ready for some fuel.
1/3 C oatbran, blueberries/raspberries, 1/2 banana, Crazy Richards, cinnamon swirled in. I also had 3 eggwhites (not pictured)
Few hours later I dug into plain greek yogurt with Kashi Go Lean and a spoonful of Cocoa powder that I won from Chocolate Covered Katie's chocolate giveaway! (Love you girl!!) this is phenomenal!!
After work I stopped at the supermarket on the way home to stock up on some usual suspects, But I also picked up some not so usual suspects
Barbara's Ultima Organic High Fiber Cereal. 8g of fiber-Sign me up! I can't wait to try this in some yogurt
Pitted Dates. I think some Fudge Babies or Homemade Larabars are in my future.
For lunch I was craving a breakfast type meal, so I cooked up some eggwhites with peppers, onion, 'shrooms, low fat chedder and kale
Scrambled up on a Josephs Lavash wrap with low sodium Turkey from TJ's and stone ground mustard. The combination may sound strange but it was so delicious! sweet, tangy and hot all in one wrap
Tah-Dah. This was SO good, I gobbled it right up. Certainly will be making a repeat and next time with salsa!
side salad of romaine, red pepper, cucumber, tomato, red pepper with side of sabra. Delicious, I just love my greens
I am off for a manicure!! Have a great day!
Check out Janetha's blog for a Chobani Giveaway