This may not be a popular opinion.
As Jews, I feel as if we sometimes relegate ourselves to our own culture, people and holidays. Maybe it’s because we feel like a minority and want to show that we have pride in our own traditions; we don’t need those of the mainstream. Whatever the reason, I know very few Jews who will admit what I am about to own up to:
I. LOVE. CHRISTMAS.
I love everything about it.
I love candy canes and the Grinch and Charlie Brown specials and eggnog. I love going to look at the tree in Rockefeller Center (though not the tree-lighting; I have no desire to wade through tourists and children to watch Demi Lovato dying on the inside as she sings some awful pop number). I also love ice skating at Rockefeller Center, even though it’s overpriced and the rink is too small. I love the department store windows and the houses covered in lights and animatronic Santas (especially the ones that sing carols). I have owned several ugly Christmas sweaters and have gotten into many drunken fights at Christmas parties. I will gorge on Christmas cookies until I need to purge and, sorry kosher Jews, nothing smells better than a Christmas ham.
Maybe I love these parts of Christmas – the commercial parts – because they were the only ones I was able to particpate in as a kid. We didn’t have a Christmas tree with presents under it, but I could still walk around the mall or turn on the TV and feel like I was a part of this magical, glittery holiday. Don’t get me wrong, Hannukah is fun and festive; I love eating latkes and lighting the menorah. But, the whole world slows down for Christmas and I can’t help but want to be a part of it.
I’m with you as a fellow Christmas Loving Jew. Dare I say it’s my favorite holiday and truly “The most wonderful time of the year.” By early December every year my house looks like santa’s workshop, and there’s nothing better than a real Douglas Fir lording over a mountain of red and green wrapped presents, the more the merrier. My husband and I always say, we’re not celebrating Jesus, just winter, and that fat guy in the red suit that makes all of our materialistic dreams come true!
Me too. It’s dark, it’s cold — bring on the indoor evergreens, the lights, the spirit of giving, and the liquid cheer. I feel similarly (though less enthusiastically) pro-Halloween: I don’t know what it means to believers, but I know what it means to American culture as a whole: lots of fun and zero harm.