I’ve hated the Christmas season for almost as long as I can remember, I’m afraid. I remember going to the dentist when I was in the fifth grade. He asked me what Santa was going to bring me and I replied, with no small amount of snarkiness, “Nothing.” Not, “Oh, actually we celebrate Hannukah in my family” or “He doesn’t come to our house because
he doesn’t exist we’re Jewish.” I was ten years old and already I was burnt out on Christmas and having to explain why I wasn’t making a list for Santa.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the birth of Jesus Christ and families coming together to feast. In fact, one of the cornerstones of Judaism is getting together with your loved (and just barely tolerated) ones to eat. I’ve even been to church on Christmas Eve. I didn’t always hate Christmas. When I was maybe six years old, I asked my dad if there was really such thing as Santa Claus. He told me “There is if you believe in him.” My dad, the diplomat. I thought,”Yeah I think I believe in him.” I’ve always been an optimist.
The idea of Santa’s existence made sense to me at the time, due in no small part, I’m sure, to the fact that we received Christmas presents, at least for a while. I think of those years as The Golden Years. Every Christmas morning, my brother and I would come down the stairs, and waiting in the fireplace would be one awesome gift for each of us (my sister wasn’t born yet or was too little to participate. By the time she was old enough, the tradition was history). I suppose I was too busy playing with my Barbie Corvette or the Barbie Jacuzzi to bother asking why we received presents for both Christmas and Hannukah.
Sadly, the Christmas tradition in our household ceased. I’m not sure exactly when but it was certainly well before the dental appointment of ill repute. We went back to the harsh reality of being what we were: Jewish kids at whose chimney Santa made no stops.
Now I’m an adult and Santa still isn’t stopping by. I imagine I would be just as irritated with all the hoopla even if he was, but it’s hard to know. In any case, every passing day brings us closer to the close of the Christmas season, which of course brings awesome sales in its wake. If I’m going to buy stuff I don’t need, it might as well be marked down. What can I say, this grinch loves a deal.