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November 15, 2004

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Of course you aren't the only Jew in the Inland Empire. There are two of us.

Had a similar dilemna recently when trying to get a family portrait taken to send out to relatives for the holidays. Getting a Wintery-holiday backround that didn't include a Xmas tree or Santa was a nearly impossible challenge.

Hi Anne!
Have you looked for cards at Raku in the Claremont Village? I've seen some artsy-fartsy menorahs there, and I know they have a pretty large card selection. Might be worth a shot.
Also, Bella Cosa, also in the Village, has had several lovely Hanukkah items -- again menorahs and also some other stuff (haven't been there in a while) -- and so might also have cards as well.
Anyway, I hope I'm not sending you on a wild-goose chase. I try to remain optimistic, but I understand what a cultural wasteland we live in.
What I've resorted to doing is taking some of the artwork Sophie has done during the year, scanning it into the computer and making my own secular holiday cards.

Hi Anne!
Have you looked for cards at Raku in the Claremont Village? I've seen some artsy-fartsy menorahs there, and I know they have a pretty large card selection. Might be worth a shot.
Also, Bella Cosa, also in the Village, has had several lovely Hanukkah items -- again menorahs and also some other stuff (haven't been there in a while) -- and so might also have cards as well.
Anyway, I hope I'm not sending you on a wild-goose chase. I try to remain optimistic, but I understand what a cultural wasteland we live in.
What I've resorted to doing is taking some of the artwork Sophie has done during the year, scanning it into the computer and making my own secular holiday cards.

Gooch: How could I possibly forget you? I hope the pictures came out great. I like doing the letters so that we can paste in our own photos, thereby avoiding the whole Christmas-tree dilemma. But of course it's never the same quality as the professional ones.

Deb: I hadn't thought of Claremont. Last year, Raku had a gorgeous display of Jewish stars, so I'll try there again. (slaps forehead) Plus isn't there some sort of crafts fair soon? I once found neutral holiday cards there. Can't wait to see Sophie's creation, by the way. Clever idea, and I'm not above stealing it.

Hi Anne--

Oh, I so feel your pain, and I live in the relatively less Jew-free and supposedly more P.C. Bay Area. The search for non-denominational (let alone Jew-friendly) cards and wrap drives me crazy every year about this time. I can usually find *something*, but it's usually some token ugly lameness that makes me grit my teeth and say "is this my only choice? Forget it, I'm converting just out of sheer artistic angst!"

May I just point out that the Internet is your friend in cases like these? I have found some great cards/papers/wrapping paper/etc etc online. My other helpful mama hint is that if you find something you like, buy it in great quantity (or even better, wait til the season's over and then buy when it's on sale). That way you'll have a fallback in case you can't find something decent the next year.

Anyway hang in there. You're not alone. ;)

Julia

Well, our cup really runneth over here in the 'burbs of Nothern California. Why, just yesterday there were two - count 'em, TWO - lovely choices of Hanukka wrap at the local Walgreen's. One was a nice spartan blue with white stars - very minimalist. The other was, get this: plain white with blue stars!

I had such a tough time deciding between these two exquisite artistic renderings that I eventually left the store in disgust. I think Julia is right - online is the way to go this year!

I gave up on wrapping paper ages ago. I usually buy silver paper and a few yards of blue or white ribbon. Looks elegant too.

But the online suggestion is definitely good advice. Will check it out.

You might think it's funny, or silly, but when I was flipping through the ToysRUs "holiday" catalog, I noticed a new addition this year to the Little People line. (It's a little kid thing, Seth might not be into them.) A Hannukkah scene! They've been doing Nativities and Santas and reindeer and all kinds of Christmas stuff for the past few years, and now finally they've reached outside the holiday box!

Believe it or not, we actually own that Little People Hanukkah set (my son, who was almost 3 at the time, had a real Little People fetish going on last year). Despite the family being a bit more old world/Orthodox/stereotypical than we'll ever be, it was a huge hit and he still likes playing with it. So see, there is hope. :)

Julia

Try being a Jew in Oceanside! I totally have the same issues down here - I know if I went into San Diego I'd probably find more stuff but I'm not in the mood to battle the traffic.

I thought for sure that Target would have some sort of plainish holiday cards. None.

If I were to get my act together, I'd order some photo cards from Shutterfly.

This is the time of year when I'm incredibly crabby. I'm going to Party City this week and hoping they have loads of Hannukah decorations. I'm going to buy out the store.

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