Christmas? What’s that?
I must confess now that I’m Jewish, I’m kind of relieved that I don’t have to celebrate Christmas anymore. I don’t have to spend irresponsible amounts of money on presents I don’t want to buy for people, and since I don’t believe the Christian beliefs, it’s counterintuitive celebrating. And despite the commercialization of Christmas, it’s still a religious holiday in essence.
I have Hanukkah and that’s perfect for me! I dodged all the Christmas parties this year (even my very Jewish fiance ended up at a Christmas party, as evidenced by the FB pic he was tagged in standing next to a Christmas tree — that was photoshopped and captioned “Merry Christmas!” — hahahaha)…but what I did not dodge was others imposing Christmas on me. First my writing partner asked if he could come over on Christmas Day to which I replied, “You do realize I’m Jewish now.” But he had nowhere to go, so I said, “Sure, but there’s no Christmas tree and we’re probably eating Chinese food.” So that happened and then this exchange happened with my Polish-Australian mother on Christmas Eve via text:
MAMA: I wish you all the best. I love to hear from you to wish me Merry Christmas Because I respect your religion.
ME: Merry Christmas! But you forgot to wish us a Happy Hanukkah! Haha
MAMA: But I sent a present for Hanukkah and didn’t know when you celebrated Late but my best wishes for happy Hanukkah
Awww, poor Mama. But in all truth, Christmas hadn’t even occurred to me…or the importance that people place upon it. It’s like it dodged me entirely this year.
Then my sister called to say Merry Christmas and almost chewed me up about being so nonchalant about it. I guess not celebrating Christmas goes really well with my naturally Grinchy personality.
I think I’m even less phased by Christmas than some Jews. Since I’ve celebrated Christmas most my life, I’ve experienced it before, so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Been there, done that! Moving on! It’s interesting because even on Twitter I’ve been noticing the reference to the “Jewish Christmas” — as in a movie and Chinese Food. Which is what we did actually (after my writing partner left) – we risked our lives and saw “The Interview” and it was so much more rewarding than a Christmas tree and fake Santa because Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg made an appearance to thank the audience for supporting (given the hacking and North Korean threats)…and I scored a free T-Shirt. Whoo-hoo! & I saw an awesome movie! Woot-woot! Side Note: Seth Rogen was kind of a d*ck! He was giving out these sipper cups and I made my way through the crowd to the front…he was handing and throwing them out into the audience. I politely asked way too many times, “Can I please have one?” I swear he saw me, looked me straight in the eye and then deliberately threw the last one into the crowd as far away from me as possible. D*CK! More proof that politeness gets you nowhere in this town.
Also, I’ve never been a kid that didn’t celebrate Christmas, so I don’t know what it’s like when your secular friends rub it in or maybe tease you. I can also see how all the advertising and decked out malls could make you feel like you’re suddenly not part of the world in December. Even in adulthood and the workplace, everyone gets Christmas Day off, so it’s not like you can entirely pretend like it doesn’t exist. But I’ve never aimed to followed the mainstream, so I prefer the uniqueness of Hanukkah. I don’t really feel like I need to justify – it just is what it is, my tastes are Jewish now.
Still, reminders of Christmas are all around. It doesn’t bother me. I still like the festiveness of the decorations and the whole world being in a good mood for that one day out of year. But what does bother me is this:
The ChristMESS Tree Graveyard that happens every year on our block when it’s all over. Neglected, abandoned pine trees. You’ve served your purpose, now get out of here! Do we really have to chop down so many trees for a single day?