WILMINGTON -- It's become known as the December dilemma -- a time of year interfaith families struggle to find a balance between their respective rituals. NewsChannel 3 caught up with an interfaith family here in Wilmington. Alan and Kimberley Shapiro say they change their rituals slightly every year. And even after fourteen years of marriage, they're still trying to find that balance. The Shapiros are one of many families in Wilmington who light candles for Hanukkah -- but they're probably the only one with a Hanukkah bush. Daughter Sarah Shapiro There are many doves on the tree for Noah's arc to find land. Alan said, "The whole Christmas tree thing, I just don't accept it. But I have. Because I have to." Hence the Hanukkah bush. Alan was raised Jewish. Kimberly grew up Episcopal. The pair initially decided to raise their kids Christian. They've since switched paths. Kimberley says she's embraced Judaism but cannot let go of certain traditions. Kimberly said, "It wasn't a Christian thing. I was raised with Santa and I'm not letting Santa go." Her kids are too old for Santa now, .but still celebrate Christmas with mom's side of the family. Daughter Sarah said, "My grandparents, they did give us presents also and they came almost every Christmas and put their presents under the tree." Kimberly says she's now thinking about converting to Judaism. She says she enjoys the traditions and that they work well for her family -- even though it's not what she grew up with. She said, "You can't be a successful couple. You can't be a successful family without being able to grow and bend and work together and make sacrifices." That goes for Alan also, who's still a little uncomfortable with putting a wreath on his front door. He said, "The wreath to me is more of a Christian symbol and now that we're raising a family Jewish 100 percent, and we're all on board with that, I think that's got to go… Maybe next year." Rabbi Harley Karz-Wagman at Temple Israel in Wilmington says roughly one-third of his congregation will also be celebrating Christmas this year.
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