Tuesday, March 20, 2007

$$ and the Easter Bunny

Money and the Easter Bunny are on my mind, though not necessarily in that order. Actually, yes, in that order.

We got a Discover card recently. We always used our Mobil card for all gas purchases, and then paid it in full each month, so we never carried a balance or paid interest and we never had to use cash for gas. That worked great for years, and also gave us very clear visibility into what we paid on gas each month. But the Mobil card had no benefits, points, etc, so was sort of a waste in the world of cashback and miles and points and all that... Enter, the Discover Card. 5% cash back on all gas purchases, plus cash back for all other purchases too... So now I'm trying to use it for everything that we'd normally pay for with cash, like groceries, etc, and we'll just pay it off in full each month. I'm really excited about it, and after only one month we already have a nicely growing little cashback balance!

I also signed us up -- finally! -- for upromise, so we're earning money for Delma's $800kajillion college tuition every time we use any of our credit or bank cards, or when we use our little savings cards at the grocery store or CVS. We still don't even have a savings account ourselves, or a 529 for Del, but at least we're taking baby steps in the right direction (we have 401k's, but those don't really count since we can't touch them). I feel like we're finally learning to be a little bit proactive financially, and it's very motivating.

OK, so the Easter Bunny... Josh and Delma are Jewish. I'm converting. This past Christmas was really weird for us, we got a tree and decorated it -- out of habit more than anything else, really -- and then felt really uncomfortable having it in the house since we're not Christian and we had no clue how to justify having it, other than the fact that we like shiny things and we have all sorts of my family's ornaments and decorations going back to before I was born. Though we both grew up with Christmas and we have wonderful magical memories associated with it, we just don't know how to raise a Jewish daughter and celebrate Christmas. So we likely won't be doing the Christmas thing anymore at our house, but we'll happily enjoy the sparkly shiny twinkling lights and decorations and trees in public places and in the homes of friends and family.

So, on to the Easter Bunny. While Christmas is extremely secular, it still is very much a Christian holiday. But Easter? It is so secularized that there's almost no religious association with it out in the public forum. And it's really cute, with all the chicks and the bunnies and what-not. And it's got really great candy. And egg hunts with all those waddling, greedy little kids are really cute. Would it be so awful for us to give Del an Easter basket every year? I'm conflicted. I have a meeting with my rabbi today, I'll have to pick his brain on this one.


melanie said...

I think you can celebrate any holiday you want no matter what religion you are, but that's just me. My mom is jewish, but would hang christimas-y ornaments from a non-christmas tree every December. The tree was already part of our house, and she just used it at christmas time to live our her little christmas fantasies. :)

Mo said...

Come on...let's be honest here. This is really about the Cadbury creme eggs, isn't it? ;) I've seen Star of David tree-toppers...maybe you could integrate the two holidays. Even though you're not celebrating officially, it seems like Xmas is a big part of your personal history. Ain't nothin' wrong with giving a nod to your roots. :)

me myself and i said...

Of course you should do whatever you want to do regarding the holidays! The Holiday police arent going to come and take away your birthday...:))
But just for infos sake...Easter is actually more important to Christians (speaking as a Catholic) than Christmas. The whole ressurection thing and all. I mean the birth of Christ of course is important too but Easter is just more significant in our faith. But I will admit to stuffing my face with several Cadbury creme eggs in the car before driving into the driveway of my house....shhhhh dont tell!!!

Rebecca :)