Sunday, December 9, 2012

I'm a Jew and I Love Christmas

Let’s just put it out there. I'm Jewish. And I freely admit it: Hanukkah ain’t got nothing on Christmas.

Don't get me wrong. We really do appreciate your efforts to make us feel included! It's nice that you say "Happy holidays" sometimes instead of "Merry Christmas," though I don't know know any Jews who would be offended to be wished a merry Christmas. You wouldn't be offended if someone wished you a happy Hanukkah, would you?

Society does try to include us Jews in December festivities. Most of the larger chain stores have a section with menorahs, dreidles, a Hanukkah card or two - even if it's one shelf among the aisles upon aisles of trees and lights and wreaths and Santa hats. Usually the 24/7 Christmas radio stations throw us an Adam Sandler bone once in awhile (not literally... ew).

You try to deny what everyone knows but won’t say – Hanukkah just isn’t as cool as Christmas.

Not that it's a contest. Of course.

I like being Jewish. I like getting presents on Hanukkah. I like that society acknowledges that not everyone is Christian. I like latkes and lighting the menorah and pretending that Hanukkah is an important Jewish holiday.

But dammit, I'm a Jew and I love Christmas.

I like Christmas music. I like debating which is the worst Christmas song (Christmas Shoes) and, being from Baltimore, guessing when we'll first hear Crabs for Christmas. I even like the religious songs. The Josh Groban version of O Holy Night gets me every time.

In fact, I'm writing this as I listen to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Christmas music and pretend to conduct in my bedroom.

And I'm not the only one. Not only do many Jews enjoy listening to Christmas music, apparently we also enjoy writing it, as evidenced by 5 Famous Christmas Songs Written by Jewish Songwriters.

As an editor, I appreciate the standardization of Christmas. No one knows what's the right way to spell Hanukkah. No one knows when the hell it starts each year. It's like a phantom. Sometimes it's the second night of Hanukkah before you realize, oh shit, I better light the first three candles tonight. (That may or may not be based on an event that happened to me tonight.)

So help me, I want a Christmas tree. I would definitely be one of the fake-Christmas-tree people – too much work to get a live one. But my collectibles-loving brain would so thank me (though my wallet would not) for the chance to buy a new ornament (or five) every year. So many choices! So many adorable things to clutter up the basement when it's not December!

I literally stood in the Christmas ornaments section of Target for 10 minutes this weekend. I stared longingly at the glittery stars and miniature frames and tiny Disney characters.

I LOVE TINY VERSIONS OF THINGS. I WANT A (socially acceptable) REASON TO BUY TINY VERSIONS OF THINGS.

Also I want a stocking. I want a giant sparkly sock to put TINY THINGS in! I want a sock with my name sewn onto it that I run downstairs to on a special morning to dump out and organize into categories to enable my OCD habit!

And then there's this.


How. The hell. Am I supposed to resist a cat stocking that comes pre-loaded with fake candy canes and a tiny Santa-head cat toy?! 

But as much as I'm a sucker for Christmas retail, it's not only material things about the holiday that I like. I love the lights. The togetherness. The mental image of snow, hot chocolate, and snuggling by the fire. THOSE THINGS DON'T COME WITH HANUKKAH.

Oh, wait. Yeah, they actually do.

Oh God. Here comes the warm and fuzzy moral-of-the-story. I wasn't planning to do this, I swear...

In the areas where it really counts, it looks like we all want the same things around the holiday season.

third crazy night

Wait, this is a dating blog, isn't it? I guess I should relate it back to dating. Um. So. If you want to date me, you should probably like Christmas at least a little bit, whether you actually celebrate the holiday or not. Cool.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Evening of a Girl Whose Date Canceled Plans

5:30 pm: At work. About to leave to start getting ready for my date. Receive text message from boy canceling plans for the evening. Reason cited: work.

5:32 pm: Debate sending all manner of passive aggressive text messages. Some aggressive aggressive options cross my mind.

5:34 pm: Settle on the mature and less fun option. No aggression of any kind. My therapist would be proud.

6:48 pm: Forced to leave work by the last person in the building who has a key to lock up.

7:07–7:08 pm: Get home. Get mail. Reduced rate on my car and renter's insurance! Woo hoo!

YOU'LL always love me, RIGHT, KITTY?!
7:09 pm: Walk in door. Pick up cat. OMGKITTYIMISSEDYOU! DID YOU MISS ME? YES YOU DID, OH YES YOU DID!!@!1 YOU'D never cancel plans on me, right, kitty?! Put all of my misplaced emotions into cat. My therapist would not be proud.

7:23 pm: Forced to stop checking Facebook and icanhascheezburger by my growling stomach. Laziness outweighed by hunger.

7:24 pm: Stare into refrigerator. Contents: Chicken salad from Wegmans. Raw veggies that I was planning to use for dipping. Holy crap, I actually have food. (Note: Contents not typical. Usually only includes half-empty cream cheese, string cheese, individually-wrapped squares of American cheese, and my Brita pitcher.)

This is my excited face.
7:27 pm: BRILLIANCE STRIKES. I will GRILL my vegetables using the George Foreman grill my parents bought me for my birthday! I DO know how to use appliances in the kitchen other than a microwave! (However, I have to look up the directions online.) I HAVE A BASTING BRUSH FROM MY ALL-IN-ONE BEGINNER'S COOKING SET FROM WHEN I MOVED IN. I WILL BRUSH THE VEGGIES IN BUTTER.*

* Capital letters used to denote emphasis. It is not exaggerated excitement. I was truly this excited when I came up with this plan. I was using capital letters on the keyboard of my mind.

7:39: Triumphantly eat delicious grilled buttervegetables and chicken salad. Read at the table.

8:08: Take ice cream out of the freezer and eat it straight from the container. NO ONE ELSE EATS IT, OKAY?! AND IT'S LOW-FAT.

8:15–9:41 pm: Overstimulate brain on the internet. I joined Pinterest today. This is my favorite image of the day. Wish I could have "pinned" this image:
Really, Pinterest? Don't you have editors? THE WORLD NEEDS US.
9:45 pm: Sing "Be Prepared" from The Lion King at the top of my lungs, laying on my back on the bed, kicking my legs around. Cat runs away.

9:48 pm: Remember that I live in an apartment complex. Hope neighbors enjoy screaming female renditions of The Lion King after hours. Maybe tomorrow night I'll move on to Aladdin.

10:54: Decide to blog about my evening for posterity. And because I haven't written a blog post in a looooooooong time. And because I wanted someone to know what I do when I'm alone in my apartment. Just be glad I'm not going into all the details about my state of undress and bodily functions.

11:00 pm: Phone alarm goes off reminding me to take birth control. Throw phone across room.

11:21 pm: Receive text message from boy stating that he is really sorry he had to work and we will reschedule for later in the week. Either he is sincere, or I am a sap. Or both. Because it makes me smile.