This whole holiday season has got me temporarily (I hope) insane. We're doing Chanukkah since I'm Jewish by birth. We're doing Christmas since I'm a mom and not strong or Grinchly enough to deny my child the joy of the Christmas spirit.
I haven't located my menorah, which is probably lingering in one of the many still unpacked boxes from our move here in April, so I'm improvising using regular scented candles. I feel awful about it but my daughter reassures me that we have the Chanukkah Spirit so it's okay. I am fully unprepared to explain all the religious significance of the holidays and even less able to explain why our family celebrates them even though we don't really practice any of the religions they come from.
Nobody really paid any attention to religion in Japan so it was easier to ignore it. It never really felt like the holidays there anyway. At least not until New Years and we celebrated that in a very Japanese way anyway, so it was in context. Now we're back in the States and definitely caught up in the holiday spirit and celebration, but it bothers me that I can't really explain why I do it, other than that's it's really fun. Maybe that's reason enough.