Christmas from the outside
Well, something odd has happened, after 6 months of this blog being lost in oblivion, it has apparently come back!! I suppose this is a Christmas present from the Blog-gods? (say that word 5 times real fast. "blog-gods, blog-gods, blog-gods...") Okay, then I should take advantage of this opportunity before it goes away again. I think I'll write about something that Dare Not Speak Its Name... not until I actually saw the subject being addressed in the Metro. When I was a kid, we didn't talk about this subject: "Being Jewish At Christmas!"
Yeah. When I was a kid, it was sort of an embarassment. We sang Christmas carols at school, and I don't mean "jingle bells' and "let's ride a sleigh in the snow." I mean the kind that said "remember Christ our Savior." Back in the 50's, kids took religion very seriously. I was Jewish, and for me to sing about Christ Our Savior would be like, um.... being forced to pledge to the flag of Afghanistan, or something. In other words, it just didn't feel right.
I can't imagine how in 6th grade I had the courage to actually get up and walk out of the assembly when my class was singing "God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen." Didn't I know I'd be labeled a Dork, a troublemaker and an outcast, for the rest of my school career?
Well, I was. Let's say that being Jewish is an education in being all of the above (dork, weirdo, troublemaker, outcast, kid who brought weird stuff in her lunchbox at Passover). It isn't about any Ten Commandments (most of which I've broken, except for the murder part). It's about training to be an Outcast with a capital O. Bringing Matzo to school and refusing to sing Christmas carols is an education, and the result is that all your life you will sympathize with anything outside the Mainstream. Like Gays, people of Color, Dissidents, Beatniks, you name it. Some Jews carry this a little too far and sympathize with the enemies of their own people, the ones who want to destroy us and say there never was any Holocaust, etc. But I digress.
I was supposed to be writing about Christmas. OK. I spent a lifetime dealing with Christmas angst, but this year I am kind of enjoying it. I'm enjoying watching everyone else run around like chickens with their heads cut off, and knowing that I DON'T HAVE TO. Oh, I can give and receive presents if I WANT to. But there's no cosmic law that forces me to. Also, I can enjoy everyone else's displays of lights, and oh yeah, I can eat the cookies! It's really kind of nice, like a movie. I'm an outsider all year and I have to watch a lot of other movies that are way worse. Like watching our government get us into stupid wars, and watching the world corpocracy destroy the planet, etc.
It's much more fun to watch mainstream Americans go Gaga over a fat guy in a red suit! So I wish you all a Happy "Whatever", but don't ask me to light Hanukkah candles. One year my kitty cat walked past them and almost set himself on fire. My religion doesn't include burnt offerings.