Sunny Days in DC

Jack of All Trades, Master of 3-ish.

I’m The Reason You Can’t Have Nice Things

The thing is, I never really feel MORE Jewish than during the Christmas season. On the one hand, I totally love the lights, the music, the evergreen trees everywhere (but not having to deal with needles in my carpet, or cleaning up after them!), and the general festivities of the winter time. On the other hand, unlike most of the country, I will not be out spending insane amount of money on family and friends right now, because the only person who could want presents from me is six months old…

…and also I’m broke as hell. I don’t know if I can emphasize that last part enough. Though, after two months without a dime, Unemployment DID finally come through. I splurged, and bought groceries. WATCH OUT! BIG SPENDAH!

Anywho, it’s nice, because I do really get a feeling of happiness and goodwill toward people. It’s pervasive. It’s in the air. Like a nerve gas.

But I’m not Christian. So, while people are decorating their homes, I’m actively reminded of the fact that we will NOT be decorating. Which, let’s be honest, kinda sucks. I mean, you get used to it, but those twinkly lights are festive as FUCK, y’all! I want to throw potential fire hazards all over my house, and have people “Ooooh” and “Ahhhh” as they drive by.

You know what my options are? I get a giant menorah to put out front, if I’m SUPER religious. Which, if you haven’t really picked up on it by now: I am not.

Menorah

*”Shmuli! Get me the EXTRA long marshmellow roaster! Dammit, these things are a bitch to make s’mores with!”*

Don’t get me wrong; I am SUPER proud to be Jewish. And I encourage everyone to be proud of what and who they are. You don’t have to resent someone else to be proud of yourself. I can be thrilled to be Jewish, without thinking there’s anything wrong with Christianity. But let’s be fair: when it comes to decorations, gifts, and a general monopoly on this upcoming month, Christians take the cake.

The delicious, delicious, possibly fruit cake.

So, getting to the point, the husbinator and I have been invited to a Hannukkah party tomorrow night at Chabad, which I guess is like the “hippy-dippy, love-everyone, come join us and sing along,” group of Jews.

To which I replied: k.no thnx.

“Why not?!” asked my ever-patient husband.

“Look, seriously, I don’t want to sit around with a bunch of super religious people, eating fried latkes (potato pancakes), and socializing with ONLY women, because the men are too busy ONLY socializing with men. I always feel like it’s the 1950’s up in there.” This part is totally true. The women chat with the women, and the men chat with the men, and that’s just not me. I don’t MIND chatting with other chicks, but I don’t like being pigeonholed into one group, simply because my genitalia are internal. Honestly, it seems almost as arbitrary a line to me, as if you said “everyone with green eyes sits at this table, and everyone with brown eyes goes over there. We don’t mix.” Like, what?

“We don’t have a lot of options around here, hun.”

“There are the Chinese.”

“I…. what?!”

This is probably why my husband and I don’t have conversations about religion anymore. I feel like Hindus and Buddhists and those folks can relate. We could totally start our own group, and just hang out with a bunch of cool, non-Christian folks this time of year, and I won’t have to put on a skirt.

Not that all of this is a push-back so that I don’t have to put on a skirt.

…all of this might be a push-back so I don’t have to wear a skirt.

Jesus, I make my own life hard!!

FP

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Santa’s not an antisemite… probably…

When I was little, I was raised in an entirely Jewish neighborhood. So much so, that I spent several weeks as a small child looking for the large stone houses with other letters on top of them, before my mom explained to me that, no, the people with the lower case letter “t” on their buildings were called “Christians,” and that was a “cross.”

It was all very confusing.

Anyway, as a part of this education, it was explained to me that Christian kids got gifts on Christmas, because an obese geriatric man would enter their homes, and LEAVE gifts. In Brooklyn, we had gates and alarms to prevent people from breaking in, but they weren’t generally there to leave things for you.

I was excited! TOYS!!! I would be getting TOYS!! HELLS YEAH!!!!!!

In retrospect, I think my mother’s second mistake was explaining this entire situation to me in a public place. Her first might have been actually taking me to a public place. Because now she had to explain to me that *I* didn’t get toys, no Jewish kid did. Santa only brought toys to Christian children. 

From all accounts, I flew into a five year old fury, and started shouting that Santa was an anti-Semite. In the middle of Toys R Us. Because that how we rolled back in the 80’s. 

Yeah, thug life. 

My mom had to think fast and quiet down her child who was now calling attention to the fact that: A) Why does your 5 year old know words like “anti-Semite”? and 

B) Most people were big fans of Santa, and you just can’t make a scene like that in Toys R Us, or…. I don’t know… his elves get mad? I’m not sure. I’m pretty sure nothing good can come from a scene like that, though. 

To my mom’s everlasting credit, she thought fast and explained that, no, Santa was unionized with Rabbi Eleazar, and they just split up the gift-giving. Santa handled Christian kids, and R. Eleazar managed all the good little yiddishe kinder. I imagine this appeased me, because for the next five years, Rabbi Eleazar brought presents for me each night of hannukkah.

And now, as a new mom, I’m faced with this same challenge. Eventually, Max will ask why all his little Christian friends will be getting toys, and why Santa doesn’t visit our house. I’m sorely tempted to let out a muffled “Jew-hater” under my breath at the mall every time a Santa passes by, but I’m pretty sure that when you’re the only one who gets a joke, it’s not quite as funny.

Also, I’d prefer not to get smacked down by angry fat men in sweaty red suits. Gross.

7 Comments »

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