When you give an engineer a recipe, you get perfection. That's why my husband baked his challah bread into a perfectly braided circle like the picture in the cookbook, and mine looked like a lopsided, coiled snake.
"It won't matter," he said. "None of our guests know what this stuff is supposed to taste like, let alone look like. Don't worry."
He was right. Each year on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, my husband and I plan a party. Being a military family, we almost never live near extended family. So when we first got married, we started inviting neighbors over for a traditional Rosh Hashanah celebration. Some years they were people we barely knew, and other years, they were great friends. When our son was born, the tradition became even more important. Jewish holidays are difficult to celebrate; they often fall on weekdays and sometimes it's impossible to get the day off work. But we view this as a challenge, not a disappointment. As he grows, our son will know the new year as a time to open your door, share your culture, and make the holiday happen, no matter where you are.