Being us on Christmas
The other day as we sat beneath stockings and in the glow of a perfectly-lit North Carolina pine, my son asked, “Dad, can we celebrate Hanukkah sometime?”
This is where my son’s experience is different from mine. I literally did not meet a Jewish person until I was a freshman in college (that guy immediately took me to his home in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, thus making me believe all Jews were just awesome). My son is getting a wider view of the world than I had from Willard, Missouri, and I’m not about to discourage it.
“Um,” I said, trying to figure out if I still knew the dreidel song, “sure we can.”
“But we can’t celebrate Hanukkah,” my kid lamented.
Of course, I thought. He may have an open mind, but he’s old enough to know that society and its religions have a hard time meeting in the middle. He’s old enough to know that, regardless of our belief system, we have always celebrated Christmas. We’re not Jewish (as far as we know). The public just wouldn’t cotton to it.
“Well, yeah,” I said and shrugged my shoulders.
“We can’t celebrate Hanukkah because we don’t have a menorah,” he said.
I’ve been able to spend the past couple weeks with the family getting ready for Christmas. Because there are a lot of people we love who weren’t able to share this time with us, I put a little video together. It’s a decent example of how our life can go from charming and sweet to ridiculous and out of hand in a matter of seconds.
We happen to like it that way.
Marry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and all that jazz to all of you.
Peace and happiness in the coming year.