You know those liberals who want to make America into a socialist country nanny state and by the way, they hate Christmas?
Yeah. That’s not me.
I love Christmas.
True, I could be compared to a “Modern Orthodox” Jew (one of the countless religious terms I can’t stand to be applied to me) in the way I ‘keep’ Shabbat, eat Kosher, and ‘observe’ the millions of Jewish holidays. On the other hand, I pretty much beat out every Christian kid, from my YMCA Camp Seafarer (four years in a row) to my all-Christian-kids-but-me elementary school in terms of sheer volume of Christmas gifts received as a child.
In Camp Seafarer, my counselor used to put us to bed by gathering us into a circle, and asking us to repeat after her, “Thank you Lord for our family, our friends, our counselors and campers, in Jesus Christ our lord’s name, Amen.”
And I’d be all, ‘in Jesus Christ whose lord’s name?’
But I was just like that silently, because I never really liked to rock the boat. Unless you count mooning passersby on our annual Seafarer trip into the tiny town of Moorhead, but that was just girly fun, not provoking the religious establishment, you know?
Plus, both of my (Jewish) parents had divorced and remarried Christian(-ish) spouses, so I was sort of step-Christian. Plus,we celebrated Christmas! And Easter. Not the Jesus part, but the Santa and the bunny parts. The stockings and presents parts. The chocolate bunny and egg-hunting parts.
So yeah, growing up, I received more extravagant Christmas presents than any Christian kid I knew. I wrote about The Wedding Dress, yes, but I also got a drum set when I was fifteen and a CAR when I was sixteen. Being Jewish and celebrating Christmas was the BEST, because we never had to mess with any of the ‘feel bad that Jesus died’ stuff or whatever it is Christians actually focus on during Christmas, and we could get right to the business of the presents.
Add one divorce and two guilty Jewish parents to the mix, and, viola! Equalled two Christmases and two Channukahs, every year, for me and my siblings.
Sheva (BatSheva Vaknin)