November 25, 2004
If you're the Jewish partner in an interfaith couple, you face the December Dilemma -- how to send two sets of friends and relatives a greeting card that expresses both your wishes for a happy holiday season without offending any recipients. The answer is to send an interfaith greeting card. The cards are "appealing to people because they express the magical quality of the two holidays," says Philip Okrend, co-founder of Mixed Blessing, a greeting card company.
If you only need a few cards, your local Bloomingdales, Borders, or Barnes and Noble may yield 1 or 2 interfaith choices, usually located in the Chanukah section. An independent shop may be a better bet. The Gift Zone in Redondo Beach (1886 1/2 S Pacific Coast Hwy; 310- 316-7566) carries interfaith designs by Mishpocha. Once Upon a Time in Montrose (2284 Honolulu Avenue; 818- 248-9668) offers Marcel Schurman designs.
If your holiday card list runs to dozens, your best bet is to order online. Mixed Blessing (http://www.mixedblessing.com) offers 41 cards that include images of both Chanukah and Christmas, and 11 Peace and Multicultural cards. One design shows two Curious Cats (one wearing a Santa cap, one a kippah) from the rear, tails intertwined, staring into a cozy interfaith household. In another design, holiday-themed surf boards lean against a tumbledown shack, a beach scene so vivid that you can practically hear the strains of a Beach Boys oldie. The Paper People (thepaperpeople.net) offer 65 interfaith designs. One is a take-off on Grant Wood's "American Gothic"; another shows a roly-poly penguin sporting a Santa hat and holding a menorah under one wing.
You will never live down the embarrassment of miscalculating the number of separate Chanukah and Christmas cards you need, and having to send a Christmas card to a Jewish family member. Save yourself the tsuris -- go interfaith!
Jane Neff Rollins ((), a medical writer from Montrose, has been in an interfaith marriage for 22 years.