We Wish You a… Oh, Never Mind   2 comments

Christmas seems to be coming earlier and earlier every year. When I was a kid, it seemed like the holiday season ‘officially’ started after Thanksgiving. Overnight, turkeys and cornucopias (cornucopii?) were replaced by reindeer and tinsel-covered trees. This year, however, the first Christmas decoration sighting came much earlier than Thanksgiving. My son and I saw tinsel and snowmen mixed in with the Halloween merchandise when we were grocery shopping in mid-October. (He says he saw some in September, but I am hoping it was a mirage.)

I was appalled. Not because I love Halloween that much, but because I think each holiday deserves to stand on its own. Except Valentine’s Day. Which I would be okay with banning. Because… Ah, just read this post if you haven’t already.  You’ll see why.

Christmas… Okay, back on track.

This is going to be a minority (pun intended) opinion, but I have to say when you’re Jewish, Christmas doesn’t always seem like the most wonderful time of the year.

Especially this year. Which is ironic as this year Hanukkah starts on December 24.

I don’t usually talk politics, but the uptick in anti-Semitic incidents following the presidential election both nationwide and in my area – the most recent at a local middle school in a town with a sizeable (for around here) Jewish population – has left me feeling more Jewish than usual this holiday season.

Don’t get me wrong; I both appreciate and agree with the whole ‘good will toward men’ vibe, like (and occasionally covet) the pretty lights people use to decorate their houses, and, most of all, LOVE the dark chocolate/white chocolate/peppermint bark some absolutely brilliant person created simply to make me want to eat more chocolate than I already do. Thanks, brilliant person. (That can be read with or without a sarcastic tone. It works both ways.)

What I don’t love is the way the holiday takes over EVERYTHING for the entire month before it starts. The decorations, the music, and the pervasive occurrences of red and green clothing act as a daily reminder you are different. That because you don’t celebrate the holiday, you are an outsider.

Every television show has a Christmas-themed episode – okay, I watch the Doctor Who specials. Because they are cool. Like bow ties. Points for the reference – and radio stations become 24/7 Christmas carol factories. It drives me crazy that I can’t listen to my favorite Top 40 radio station from practically the day after Thanksgiving until December 26 as all they play are Christmas songs. Thank G-d for the flash drive loaded with music that lives in my car. And for audio books. These two things save my sanity during the festive season.

Then there is whole exciting world of holiday greetings, which you would think would be safe. Not so. I had a library patron go off on me express her dismay at my choice of words a few years back when I made the mistake of wishing her “Happy Holidays” after checking out her books. She started complaining about what a shame it was that Christmas was getting “… white-washed by all those politically-correct people who don’t want to offend anyone.” (I’m not making this up; she really used those words.) The tirade then continued into her views on the ‘war on Christmas,’ most of which I didn’t really listen to, to be honest.

I waited patiently for her to be done (or take a breath) and explained I have always wished people a happy holiday as I don’t like to presume everyone celebrates the same holiday I do. She snorted and said something about how ridiculous that was, so I gave her a big smile and wished her a very happy Hanukkah. Ten seconds of shocked silence was followed by a belly-laugh Santa would have been proud of. She still comes in each year and makes a point of wishing me a happy holiday. It’s pretty cool.

The one seasonal thing I do look forward to each year is the Jewy Christmas celebration my family has. As I said in the last post, some years it’s just been us, other years we are joined by friends who either don’t have family in the area or who have their primary celebration on Christmas Eve. (Yes, I know the whole Chinese food and a movie thing has become clichéd, but it works for us. And we started doing it long before it became a thing. I mean, I can’t believe how the number of movie attendees has skyrocketed the past few years. Now, even when we go to the early movie, the place is packed. Kind of blows my mind.)

I’d like to say I have a point to all this, but really, not so much. I’ve just had the holiday on my mind as of late, and I suppose I simply want to remind people we’re not all the same and being mindful of others during this season of peace on earth can only be a good thing. Especially now.

So, Happy Holidays, everyone, and please, please, please make sure you eat enough of that lovely peppermint bark so I don’t eat it all.

It will be appreciated.

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Posted December 21, 2016 by wordsaremylife in random thoughts

2 responses to “We Wish You a… Oh, Never Mind

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  1. I agree whole hardheartedly WHY must each holiday begin when the last one is still on the shelf can’t we have a breather in between!! MY favorite holiday is HALLOWEEN for obvious reasons with the whole face painting thing but this year Halloween candy on the shelves after 4th of July….um it’s summer still. WTH!! Really guys. I got now problem being prepared but i just feel like it is a rush from one thing to the next. I got your Hanukkah today by the way and i LOVE the Doctor! and the robot!! oxxo hang in there the year is almost over i am sure the Valentine candy will be out on Sunday remember to wear black its tradition.

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