The Jew on Christmas

December 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in Family Ties, Life and Living | 2 Comments
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I want to start off by saying Merry Christmas to all — and by all I mean everyone, not just those who observe this Christian holiday.  Christmas is a national holiday, a day dedicated to spending time with loved ones.  This is something I believe to be true across religious affiliations as it is a value of human kind.  We all have our traditions on this day and even I, a Jew on this great holy day, have partaken in many of the traditions connected to this holiday.

Many of these traditions are put into place by one’s parents, as most holidays are used as an opportunity for families to understand and teach their children about their culture, history and moral values.  As a Jew on Christmas, I never had a Christmas tree of my own to decorate.  I never woke up to an exorbitant amount of gifts propped under a tree.  My family celebrated the eight nights of Hannukah — several gifts a night and the traditional lighting of the menorah.  Since there was very little to do on Christmas day with everything closed, we often celebrated Hannukah on Christmas, even if it didn’t fall on that day.  We would go down to the city to my maternal grandparents’ apartment and celebrate with them.  I remember the beautiful tree they had in their apartment building lobby and how it was decorated with candy canes ready for the taking.  The Christmas spirit was strong, and I was happy to partake.

That’s not to say that I didn’t take part in the other traditional ways to avoid this holiday.  I’ve gone to the movies, I’ve gotten chinese food.  There’s definitely nothing wrong with these traditions, but I’ve also gone to Christmas parties and even midnight mass.

Over the years, our country has gotten so sensitive about our cultural differences.  You can’t say Merry Christmas without someone getting offended, or being coerced into including Hannukah and Kwanzaa.  You have the non-religious and anti-religious folks attempting to make a mockery out of the day.  All of this colliding with our growing greed, this has become a consumer holiday for many.  We have lost touch with what it’s really all about.

Perhaps as Jew I am in an unique position to appreciate the moral values that this day represents.  If someone says Merry Christmas to me, I say it back.  I am not offended.  I am happy to be part of a tradition, even on the periphery, that to me represents a day of kindness, generosity, and love.

Merry Christmas to all.

Sincerely,

Your Favorite Jew

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2 Comments »

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  1. Reblogged this on Exploring Winnipeg and Beyond..

  2. Love your take on Christmas, I think it’s absolutely crazy that people go out of their way to not wish others a merry Christmas.


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