Its not gone unnoticed by me how the Jews are in the process of trashing the spirit of Hannukah in a manner similar to the way that Christians have profaned the spirit of Christmas. It aint just lattkes, squishy chocolate coins, and a roll of stockings for the Jewish kids anymore. Now theres a huge Menorah being projected on a side of a building with moving flames , and each day the people watch for the new candle, and gifts and spoiling the crap out of kids is slowly taking over.
Im gonna turn Amish, screw it.
Anyway -- yes -- here comes a rant, my apologies for the downer -- I think this is an Americanization, that it ain't a holiday unless it gets press. Well, it's a freakin' small holiday, truth be told, it's Arbor Day or Flag Day, nothing huge, it's an accident of the calendar more than anything else. But in some ways, the publicizing of it isn't so bad, and I'll tell you why.
Christmas has been sold to this country (yes, I mean sold
, sorry if that sounds harsh) as something that Americans
do, as if it were a red, white and blue holiday, mixed in with the red and green. But it's not, it's a Christian
holiday, and being one of the 4% who don't celebrate it can make for some interesting interpretations of one's own faith. But this year I've been told to take my celebrations elsewhere because I ain't in the Christmas spirit. Well, duh! I can't be in the Christmas
spirit. I don't believe in Christ.
But it's also being sold, in an increasingly nasty society, as being well, unAmerican if you don't celebrate Christmas, so you better move your own non-Christmas celebration aside and make way for the steamroller that is Christmas, because your foreign rituals are -- what, exactly? Disgusting? Scary? Offensive? Perplexing? The hiding is nothing new. It's the kind of thing that used to happen during the Inquisition. Here's a lovely editorial by Lou Dobbs
, it was on CNN, telling me, well, "Merry Christmas! That's right, Merry Christmas. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, pagan, barbarian or whatever, Merry Christmas!
It's what most of us say in this country come this time of year. It's about who we are, where we are and where we've been. And all the namby-pamby, little sensitive darlings among us who can't handle this verbal assault on their delicate senses should immediately begin seeking emergency psychiatric care
." Uh, no, numb nuts. I'm not overly sensitive, I'm just asking for you to recognize that some of us aren't like you. This is America, remember? Land of Chinese folks in New York, Mexican people in Kansas City and Somalians in Massachusetts. We aren't a monolith, a fact that I like to think makes us stronger. But hey, have your figgy pudding and complain about a small minority of people who aren't like you and somehow that bothers you. Sorry, you poor sensitive darling. Perhaps emergency psychiatric care will be covered in your health plan.
Anyway -- to get off the rant and head back to the festivities -- I have plenty of family members who aren't Jewish. Not just atheist, but we've also got a large, thriving Catholic wing. Their kids are older but Light the Lights!
sounds great, I'll keep it in mind as I'm sure this situation will come up again.
PS The Italian Jewish recipes (at the bottom of the link that Diane provided) look to die for. I have, I kid you not, a Swedish cousin who started life in Spain but ended up in Italy during the Second World War, he was hidden by the family's nanny, if I recall correctly. I'll ask him if he knows any of those dishes.
PPS Celebrations into January! That's the spirit! Hey, it beats Seasonal Affective Disorder. Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.