Friday, December 1, 2017
How we celebrate Christmas
It started right after Halloween with people complaining about Christmas decorations going up too early. Soon after that the first trickle of Christmas music in public places elicited groans and grimaces. With black Friday came the usual accompaniment of tirades against "commercialism" and the pointlessness and burden of gifts. Soon enough people will start to lament upcoming parties and family gatherings, cookies, Scrooge, eggnog, "Christmas Spirit", and snow. And it all wraps up with a bunch of average citizens in an alley somewhere beating up some poor guy dressed as Santa.
I'm sure there are reasons for all these feelings.
I don't share them. I don't share them at all. I love Christmas.
I think gifts of all kinds are wonderful, even sort of junky ones. Just look at them all wrapped up under the tree, full of unbelievable promise! Just look at the tree! I think Christmas decorations are entirely fair game as of November 1. The more lights the better. My ideal is large, glowy, multi-colored lights scrupulously outlining all rooflines, windows, doors, and walkways, all topped off with a full sized glowing Santa with sleigh and reindeer on the roof. But I'll happily accept pretty much any kind of lit up junk anywhere. Scrooge is one of the greatest stories ever told, and while there's not much beyond Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Christmas for actively listening to, and maybe the Nutcracker, and White Christmas, seven weeks of all that other Christmas stuff lurking in the background is as good as anything else to me.
You might think I am being sarcastic, but I'm not. I mean it. I love Christmas.
You might wonder why I don't celebrate Christmas then.
It's because I'm Jewish. Not religiously, but culturally. And even if I took Christmas as an American Holiday, which I just... can't, I still couldn't celebrate it. I'm a Jew. It's a holiday.
All I can do is observe it.