Posts Tagged: Christmas Results 12
Every year around Christmas, I see a schism among Jews. There are those of us with Christmas envy who want to join in and embrace it, and then there are those like me, the Scrooges. The ones who say, “Hey guys, this holiday celebrates the birth of Jesus. Not my messiah. Not my religion. Not my holiday.”
Calling it “the most wonderful time of the year” may be a bit of a stretch, but the Christmas season certainly has more to offer Jews than Chinese food.
I don’t mean the old secular standbys of non-Jesus-y carols, egg nog, or It’s a Wonderful Life, either. In fact, the season’s non-stop carol soundtrack makes me want to dash through the snow all the way to my silent house. Ditto for Santa, the mad shopping rush, and even, to an extent, the tree (needles get everywhere and it’s a ton of work).
Until my kids starting loosing their teeth, I considered myself a Jew without any Christmas influences. Sure, I’ve always given and received Hanukkah gifts, which one could argue is the most blatant Christmas influence of all. But I’ve draw the line when it comes to buying Christmas-inspired blue tinsel, blue and white lights, and other Christmas decorations in Hanukkah disguise.
My husband and I teach our kids to respect Christmas and all the traditions of other faiths, but we’ve been careful to create their Jewish identities from the holidays and customs we do follow rather than what is not ours. Before those dang lost teeth, for example, I took pride in knowing we stress the significance of the story of Hanukkah without inflating the holiday’s importance. I was self-congratulatory about our sukkah and the fact that we celebrate Shavuot and all the holidays. I felt assured that Shabbat happens in our home every week, both on Fridays nights and on Saturdays. We were so full of positive Jewish action here that I assumed we had no trace of trappings of Christmas.