Monday, June 22, 2015

Mommy Mondays: How To Throw A....

Being the mom of two Jewish boys I am now an expert at planning and throwing a Brit Milah - the Jewish ceremony during which a boy is circumcised.  This is a very specialized expertise.  For most, this is not the sort of thing they ever have to worry about.  However, the basics in planning are equally helpful in planning for Sip&Sees or Meet the Baby Parties - really any sort of get together that happens relatively soon after the birth of the child.  So here are my tips for planning a baby celebration following the birth of your child.

1) Prepwork:  The first few weeks of parenthood are a bit of a blur - and I say that as one who is deep in the throes of those first few weeks.  So if you're planning on having people come over to coo at your little one, you should get as much done as you can, before the baby comes.  For me, this means that around 38 weeks I started making and freezing challahs, cookies, and strudel - to serve at the bris (boy) or baby naming (girl).  Because we knew there'd be a Jewish ceremony involved, we also contacted a mohel (the doctor performing the circumcision) and our Rabbi ahead of time.

2) Keep invites simple: I absolutely love paper invites.  Mostly because they look so much nicer in memory books than evites  But when you're short on time, paper invites just won't cut it.  A bris occurs 8 days after the boy is born, which means I need to get the word out as soon as possible.  For both boys, we were out of the hospital the day after they were born, and I sent out an email the night we got home.  Which doesn't mean you can't get creative. 

3) Outsource!  As much as I usually overdo it when it comes to entertaining, with a newborn in the house, you just can't.  Which means there is no shame in having prepared food brought in.  (Truthfully there is never any shame in having prepared food brought in - whatever makes the host happy makes the guests happy) For Thatbaby's bris we had Terriyaki sliders, coleslaw, potato salad, fruit salad, along with the challah, cookies, and strudel.

And Thatbaby's brit milah went off with only slight hitches.  Our original mohel was unavailable on the day, which meant despite my prep, I was left calling a different mohel the day I gave birth to introduce myself and ask about his availability the following week.

But the doctor we ended up with was wonderful and he did a great job at explaining all the parts of the ceremony to our guests who were unfamiliar - the reason for the circumcision, why it is done at 8 days, and the various roles of honor.  The circumcision itself went as well as these things go, meaning there were tears and blood, but both ceased after mere moments.

After the circumcision came the baby naming portion of the ceremony, where we bestowed a Hebrew name on Thatbaby.  This is where the Rabbi stepped in and gave his blessing, as we shared how the name we chose was a way to honor my cousin China.

And of course, after that, as with all Jewish ceremonies, the food comes out.  And the baby gets passed, and we all get a chance to chat and catch up - which is the part that translates to all get togethers following a birth.


  1. Congratulations Kate! I know all about this Jewish ceremony. In Greece we don't circumcise men at all. Only the Jewish do it of course!

  2. I have never been to a Jewish ceremony before. Nice to know this is how you do a Brit Milah.

  3. I've never been to a bris, just a naming ceremony, and it is so impressive that this all gets done so soon after you give birth!