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A Brisket Showed Me the Joy of Christmas

by Ilana Angel

December 24, 2010 | 4:06 pm

I make the world’s best brisket.  That’s not saying a lot since most Jewish women who make brisket claim they make the best. What’s interesting about my brisket is that my opinion does not factor in.  I am a vegetarian so I have no idea how it is.  If I think back a few years, I do recall it was delicious.

I am going over to a girlfriend’s house tomorrow for Christmas dinner.  She is making a ham, along with all the Christmas trimmings and the brisket is a back up since she is having a lot of people, and apparently you can never have enough meat.  (Insert trip to the gutter here.)

I don’t know a lot of people who celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I know many however who celebrate Santa and all the joy of the holiday that he brings.  It’s quite lovely.  I spoke with a young man today, who at age 5 is quite certain that Santa is coming and bringing him a cat.

I was in line at the market to get my secret brisket ingredient, and he was wearing reindeer antlers.  I asked him if Santa was coming to his house.  He told me yes he was and he was bringing him a cat. The young boy was going to have cookies ready for him, along with cat treats for his new friend.

As he began to tell me about the kitten he wished for, his father pointed to the bottom of his shopping cart to show that hidden behind a case of water, was a box of kitty litter.  It was as if I had just seen Santa myself.  I was simply overcome with joy for this little boy that he was really getting a cat.

For a second I almost jumped up and down in excitement.  I looked at the dad who was silently pleading with me to not blow it for his kid.  I composed myself and told the little reindeer boy that I really hoped Santa came and suggested he leave out milk with the cookies as added insurance.

He then invited me over to see his cat tomorrow morning.  I told him that I was going to be busy with Santa at my house and that I hoped I would see him again so he could tell me all about the cat.  It was awesome.  My Jewish soul was wrapped up in the joy of Santa and the magic of Christmas.

Whether you believe in Santa, go to midnight mass, or opt for Chinese food and a movie, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Regardless of what your faith is, seeing the dreams of a child about to come true are enough of a Christmas miracle to warm my heart and remind me to always keep the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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