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.
5 thoughts on “I’m a Grinch.”
When I was about 5, my parents for some reason had me sit on Santa’s lap. When he asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him, “Nothing. I’m Jewish.” Kind of dumbfounded ole St. Nick.
Ha! That’s a riot. Just goes to show, he may know if you’re naughty or nice, but he doesn’t know everything!
I have to thank you for a great mid-work day laugh. I have been trying to fight off my Grinch like tendencies for a couple years because what you described in your first paragraph is what goes through my head every year. Be happy you don’t live in San Francisco in December – they have a day where a bunch of people dress like Santa and bar hop! Thanks for the laugh and comfort that I’m not alone.
OK, which was my favorite? The Grinch loves a deal? The dental visit of ill repute? Feeling bloated after eating the treat you weren’t hungry for?What can I say, you are a great writer and that was a really interesting, not to mention funny, post.
Try Brazil. It’s creeping up to 90 degrees here and the windows are decorated with snow, coniferous evergreens and a rosy-cheeked Scandinavian-looking fellow in clothes that aren’t even sold here in the coldest of winter months (um, JULY). At least people can use the Christmas songs to learn English.