Even before Thanksgiving is upon us, advertising for Christmas begins. It is impossible to live in the United States and ignore the impact that this celebration has on everyone.
My parents had an unusual take on Christmas. Being Jewish, they didn’t want me to identify with the religious part of Christmas, but they didn’t want me to feel left out of believing in Santa Claus. I don’t know how many Jewish kids believed in Santa Claus, but I did. He brought my Chanukah presents on Christmas. (The truth was Santa Claus worked for his cousin on Christmas Eve, and got some merchandise in return.) We never had a Christmas tree. We did light the candles and say the blessings each night of Chanukah.
I really bought the whole Santa Claus thing line, hook, and sinker. I counted the days until Christmas, and I really believed Santa Claus was watching me, so I made sure I was extra good.
When I found out that Santa Claus really wasn’t coming to my house, I was really upset. It’s the first time I realized that everything wasn’t cracked up to what it was supposed to be. I guess that’s a sad reality we all have to face sooner or later.
I really felt like an outsider then because I realized Christmas really wasn’t my holiday. I asked my mother if Thanksgiving was really my holiday. How about New Years Eve? I was happy to find out Thanksgiving was okay.
Since I’ve grown up, I’ve come to my own conclusions about religion. I think it is nice to celebrate the traditions that you’ve grown up with, but I’m not exactly sure where the stories come from. (I buy the idea that they were written by people.)
I think there are lessons and basic truths in every religion. It’s too bad people misconstrue the whole thing, and live their own versions of their religions. As my dear mother used to say,” anything in extreme is bad.”Meghan Kelly and her rantings about Santa Claus are a perfect example of what I find ridiculous.( But that’s another post.)
It is impossible to live in this country and not get a little caught up in the Christmas spirit. It is a good thing. I wish people acted charitable and kind all year-long. I really enjoy the music, and the lights. I like saying “Merry Christmas” to people.
Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanza, and Happy New Year!