I’m bombarded with Christmas. Walking through a mall with all the Christmas decorations, walking the dog past the houses with Christmas lights, surfing the radio for a normal song or the TV for a movie without a Christmas theme, and even buying a cup of coffee in a generic cup, I am in Christmas sensory overload!
People are also in great moods. So why am I so sad? As a Jew, I can’t help feeling left out. I want to join in, too, but feel like my parents are admonishing me from their graves. I like the spirit of the holiday, not the religious aspect. It is a warm holiday at a very cold time of year. The point is, I feel guilty even thinking this way. I can’t be the only one feeling excluded, can I?
Feeling Left Out
Dear Feeling Left Out
Living in Canada, you will always experience this all-encompassing holiday season. It’s the most lucrative time of year for businesses, so it’s very aggressively marketed.
The results are exactly as you describe. Everywhere you turn, Christmas is in its full glory. So what are you supposed to do? Nothing. Stop feeling guilty. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a beautifully decorated house. It’s pretty. The shows on TV are usually good and heartfelt, often with a family theme or a message. As for the tunes, they’re often toe-tappingly catchy. Unless you hibernate in your home without outside stimulus, you cannot avoid this season. Enjoying pretty lights doesn’t make you a bad Jew.
Jews everywhere experience the same feelings. Even Kyle from South Park has a song called A Jew at Christmas.
Chanukah usually falls around the same time of year, and we have the same feelings of gift giving and family spirit through our very own holiday. Lighting candles, family get-togethers, community programs, parties, latkes and gifts will satisfy this warm spirit you are missing. Don’t fight your way through this season. Live through it, enjoy the spirit of the season, and stop feeling guilty.