In the Real Celebrations series, SoKind asks registry users to share a bit about their celebrations. Read on for a collection of inspirational ideas as well as lessons learned!
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The Family: Danielle, an Israeli-American Hebrew speaker, Michael, a Moscow-born Russian Speaker, and new addition, Avi
The Event: Brit Milah (Jewish circumcision ceremony)
Location and Date: Our home in Bala Cynwyd, PA, July 31, 2014.
In Their Words: We wanted to discourage, as much as we could, the typical barrage of expensive onesies and excessive stuffed animals! We knew our friends would rather give our new baby their time, cooking, hand-me-downs, and handmade items - things we really needed and wanted. We also included three charities on our registry - we want to be able to tell Avi that even when he was eight days old, he was making the world a better place.
Meaningful Moments: We livestreamed the entire event to our family in Israel! Michael's brother set it up and sent out the link, and even friends who couldn't make it ended up tuning in at work. Also, Danielle's family is from Morocco, meaning they are Spanish Jews by origin, so the typical brit milah ceremony was supplemented by some of her family's traditions - a plate of foul (“fool”) lima beans to represent fruitfulness, as well as sprigs of mint placed around the room to smell after the ceremony, alluding to the biblical verse “And God blew into his nostrils the soul of life, and man became a living soul.”
SoKind Gifts Received: We requested secondhand books in Hebrew and Russian, and our friends and family delivered in spades!! We got so many books that we built a bookshelf in Avi's room for them. We use the books every day now. We also requested handmade items and received three beautiful, handmade blankets from friends - we were so touched that people took so much time to create something just for us.
Lesson Learned: We were so amazed how quickly people were willing to volunteer their time and energy, and that that kindness extended for months after Avi was born. So touched.