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How Peter Alexander celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas with his kids

The Saturday TODAY co-anchor is Jewish and his wife, Alison Starling, is Christian.
/ Source: TODAY

TODAY’s Peter Alexander is Jewish and grew up lighting Hanukkah candles. His wife, Alison Starling, was raised celebrating Christmas. 

“Together for our girls we’re kind of blending the two,” Alexander explained in the TODAY All Day streaming special “Holidays in My House” in 2022.

Alexander and Starling, who have been married for 10 years, share daughters Ava, 9, and Emma, 8. 

The Saturday TODAY co-anchor revealed that each holiday season, Ava and Emma wrap and deliver books to a health clinic in their community.

“The hope is that our girls learn that the traditions of Hanukkah and Christmas aren’t just about us and our family, but about sharing and giving to other families, too,” he said.

In 2018, Alexander spoke about how one of his “favorite joys” is sharing Shabbat, or the Sabbath, with his family on Friday nights. At the time, both Ava and Emma were attending a Jewish preschool.

‘The girls light the candles and we sing the blessings together,” he told Fatherly, noting that they also enjoy eating challah bread. 

“My wife is not Jewish, but is the world’s best mom and has totally embraced these traditions, and I look forward to the girls being Bat Mitzvah’d one day,” he said.

Alexander opened up to in 2022 about juggling fatherhood and his career at NBC.

“I’ll take the last flight home just to be able to sleep in my own bed and kiss them, even if they’re already asleep when I get home, or I’ll take the earliest flight in the morning if that allows me to read and put them to bed the night before,” Alexander told the outlet. “I’ll hustle back from anchoring in time to see my daughter’s soccer game and then my other daughter’s softball game. If we’re allowed to clear out of the White House before it’s too late, I’ll hustle over to a practice or parent-teacher night.”

"I'm can see it in their eyes when I’m there to experience those things in person — how valuable it is for them too,” he added.