I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Only 21 Shopping Days!

(until my birthday.)

So here is the thing. I adore Xmas. I love the lights, the whole leaving-cookies-for-Santa thing, the carols thing, the people fighting in malls, the holly wound around the majestic staircase, the cinnamon-flavoured everything, the tree and the twinkles, the decorating of the houses, the whole damn Goyish kit and caboodle. Truly. However. One small problem-o. I am a Jew. (Born on Xmas, which is what I blame my Xmas interest in. That, and in the 6th grade play I was chosen to play Mrs. Clause. Santa himself was a 6 foot high total hottie black kid. So who says we were not progressive in the 80's?) So no Ex-Maas for moi. No tree. No lights. No decorating. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nary a fah-lah-lah.

As previously noted, I am what one might call...cheesy. I love all that corny stuff. If I was a Christian, I would so be incessantly singing carols from November onwards. I'd be wearing cheap earrings which look like Christmas baubles and I'd be sporting a flashing reindeer pin, WITH the matching reindeer sweater, while I baked star cookies and tied fat red velvet ribbon everywhere. I would make people kiss under the mistletoe. Hell, I'd even spray that fake snow stuff around my window sills. That would be ME. But it's not me, because it can't be me, because there is this small matter of being one of the Chosen People.

In the US, Channukah is an event. Newscasters in large cities wish "their Jewish friends" a happy "festival of Channukah" on TV. In stores you can often find Channukah stuff one shelf over from the Christmas stuff. My BIL (and other people in desperate need some fun in their lives) say that the gamut of Christmas-like Channukah stuff (plates, towels, lights, decorations, gift giving, etc etc) is just "an American reaction to the commercialisation of Christmas." When I moved to Australia, I was kinda surprised that none of this happened here. I *love* Channukah, in the absence of the Jolly Fat Man in my life (excluding DH - sorry DH! *grin*) So I grew up DOING the whole house decorating thing (in blue and silver, natch). We gave presents. We played dreidel, ate the latkes, sang the songs and in general made a big whoop-dee-dee about Channukah. In Australia it's not the done thing...until now, that is. Over the years I've kinda pushed the family into gift giving (on a small scale), I decorate my house (although not with lights), and I give presents. The BIL I mentioned above thinks this is ridiculous. He puts a supremely irritated face on when he encounters it and thinks it's all a bit American and ridiculous of me. He tries, very hard, to take a long thin pine needle of grumpiness and pop my balloon of Channukah Happiness.

Know what? I DON'T GIVE A FLYING DREIDEL. Or a flying reindeer, for that matter. As far as I am concerned, Channukah and Christmas and Kwanzaa and whatever the hell holiday it might be in December (did I mention my birthday?) - it's all about having FUN. I love to give presents. I love to get presents. I like lights, I like food, I like good cheer, I like being with my friends and family, and I just LIKE the whole idea that most of the world, during December, is HAPPY. Happy and surrounded by love and lights and latkes and other L words like LAUGHTER. That's it. I don't care about the religion bit. I don't care about the "American response to blah blah bullshit" bit. I don't care about the commercialization aspect of it. I just care that it's fun, and it's an excuse to have a good time. What can be so terrible about that?

AS for my grumpy pine-needle wielding BIL: Last year I drew his name out of the hat for the family Channukah Chaim (for you non-Jews: Kris Kringle). What gift do you get for the person who is anti-gifts (and at under $20)? So I did the right thing. I made a donation to an charitable organisation he supports, and wrapped up the receipt so he could claim it as a tax deduction. I strongly doubt he would admit it, but he was none too impressed with having nothing to open. This year, when we were drawing the names, he was overheard saying, "Well I know what *I* would like..." Funnily enough this year we also got his name out of the hat. Sadly, he's not getting what he wants. After all, why would I support the commercialisation of my BIL? He's getting a garden set. But not ANY garden set. One from here.

I say BAH HUMBUG and ROTTEN LATKES to *anyone* who dares tell me that I am "celebrating" for the wrong reasons. Celebrations NEED NO REASON. Now, go out and sing a few "fah-la-las" and throw in a couple of "oh channukahs" for me. (Birthday wishes don't go astray either, people.)

1 comment:

Weinraub Family said...

Have I mentioned lately that I love you?!?!Seriously, this post is terrific.

I grew up the half Jew, so thanks to my Dad we did Christmas and it was BIG. Tree (real one that we even went to cut down ourselves), Lights, decorations, stockings and gifts. It wasn't even opening presents x-mas morning that I loved (although that was pretty darn great) it was having the whole family home putting up the tree, then sitting in the dark at night sipping hot cocoa looking at the lights on the tree sparkle.

I am BIG into holidays and birthdays. I love shopping for that perfect gift for people and making a big deal of it. Alan on the other hand is just like your BIL. He doesn't get it. His family never did holidays or birthdays so he has no reference for it.

I want the girls to grow up with memories like mine, not like Alan's. I am going to go nuts for birthdays and holidays...kids deserve special memories like that, and so do we as parents.

Too bad I can't do that here...if you think Australia does nothing for Hanukkah, try being in Japan. LOL.