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.

Well, yeah.

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.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. JK says:

    Well done sir. Both the video and the family. Have a great holiday.

  2. lusky says:

    merry christmas to you and your family

  3. Da Goddess says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Everything to you and yours, Otis!

  4. KenP says:

    Well we all now understand the station’s very wise decision to put you on the idiot side of the camera. Great decision though to use the 2.0 version as the reporter. Unique reporting of the Holiday Zebra for Kwanzaa, I’m guessing. Keep that one quiet around the house. If the kid find out it is more days of gifts…

    Best wishes for the holidays to you and yours!!! (And it was a great video.)

  5. Sandra says:

    Merry Christmas, Willis Family. Love the video, made me smile and laugh. Miss you guys!

  6. The Wife says:

    Cute video . . . but you guys are always welcome to come out to CA and share the menorah here!

  7. change100 says:

    Don’t know which was my favorite line:

    “I have good news, these Power Rangers’ heads move!”


    “You can lick me.”

    Merry Christmas to all four of you.

  8. I could watch that over and over. In fact actually I have. Love the innocence of a child at Christmas. It was so nice to see you and your family over the holiday, and meeting Graham for the first time. We wish you, Chelle, D, and Dos a very happy New Year.