Monday, November 26, 2012

(A Jew) On Christmas.

George Washington get his tree
The decorations are up, the holiday music is playing and faster than you can say "Black Friday Insanity" Thanksgiving is in our rear view and the countdown to Christmas has begun. Christmas... beautiful, sparkly, cheery Christmas. Moment of honesty: I really wish I celebrated Christmas. Though I am proud of my Jewish heritage and I love my Chanukah traditions (Mom's latkah's are a once-per-year delicacy) nothing compares to a twinkling tree, mint hot chocolate and Mariah Carey belting out that all she wants for Christmas, is me. 

My parents tell a tale of little Meri coming home from preschool, confused about Santa. "If I'm good, he's supposed to come! Is he going to come!?" Stuck with the difficult task of explaining religious diversity to a 3-year old (and risking the reveal of some "Santa-related truths" to an entire preschool) my parents did what any parent of a blabber mouth would do: they told me to believe. And believe I did - cookies, carrots for the reindeer and a short note thanking Santa for stopping by. From that year on, the magic of Santa has been a tradition in my Jewish family (you should see my stocking) and an annual small gift from Mr. Claus reminds each of us of the holiday's joy (and a funny Meri story.) Because similar to Chanukah's 8 nights of gifts, Christmas has developed traditions quite distinct from the religious significance of the day. For me and so many others, twinkling lights, an excellent soundtrack, togetherness and giving are all non-religious Christmas magic (also the Nutcracker, It's a Wonderful Life, the smell of fresh pine and gingerbread). So while I may not get to put up a tree (tempted, so tempted)  I'm going to love on Christmas with the enthusiasm of a goy... it's like my parents said "all you have to do is believe" :)

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