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.