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Jewish Journal

My Very Merry Jewish Christmas

by Ilana Angel

December 26, 2011 | 2:00 pm

I had a fabulous Christmas, which was also the 6th night of Hanukkah.  It feels festive and inclusionary when they overlap, and you almost forget about all the crap in the world, because so many people are united in faith this time of year.  Regardless of what the faith is, there is something about so many worldwide prayers and wishes that feels good.

My son is with his dad for a few days so I am solo for the second half of Hanukkah.  On Christmas Eve I went to The Commerce Casino here in LA.  It’s a new tradition for me, and so for the third straight year, I went with my girlfriends P & M to play poker.  It is an interesting experience.  Fun and exciting, yet scary and rather disgusting.

I met the girls there at 6:30.  I was wearing jeans and a sweater, which made me much more dressed up than most of the other patrons.  It’s a little seedy, and has a bit of a desperate feel to it, but it’s super fun and has become tradition.  I drove separately and arrived last.  I walked into the casino and started to look for my girls.  They were not hard to find.

In a sea of jeans, coats, scarves, and a lot of missing teeth, were two hotties in short black dresses with killer heals, perfect make up and gorgeous hair. P & M looked like they were meant to be in Vegas, not a card casino that specializes in spreading pink eye.  They looked absolutely fabulous, and completely out of place.  There were like lighthouses in the fog.

Men came around like moths to a flame and it was very entertaining.  These two girls are hardcore poker players, and really good.  I have no idea what I’m doing, and can never remember any of the lingo, but it is so much fun. We stayed until about 2:00 am, which is insane.  I got home around 2:30 and could not sleep so I just puttered around.

I finally fell asleep at around 4:30 and was up at 8:30 to meet the girls for Christmas breakfast.  Like many in the tribe, we went to a deli for Christmas breakfast.  My 30 minutes drive took about 15 minutes because the only people on the road were me and a bunch Jews heading out to eat.  Christmas morning is the best time to drive in LA.

Breakfast was fabulous.  It was P & M, along with a bunch of their friends. People they have known for years, and that I was meeting for the first time.  A really great group of people.  There was the gorgeous gay man, the tall and attractive LA couple, the newly engaged and adorable couple, the single, super sweet girl, M & P, me, and a charming girl and her brother.

The gay man is divine looking and super charming.  I am setting him up with a friend of mine.  The LA couple have what may be the fattest cat on the planet.  The engaged man did a killer job with the engagement ring for his fiancé, and the brother, of the brother and sister team, is my new favorite person.  Got to love a man who thinks LeAnn Rimes is a skanky whore.

M gave everyone a scratcher lottery ticket which turned out to be hilarious.  For the record, those Bingo games are exhausting and I’m not sure the headache was worth the $4 I won.  The single gal was the saving grace and the only one who could figure out what to scratch.  It was great fun and I laughed for two hours with these lovely people.

We talked about everything and nothing and it was a perfect Christmas morning.  After breakfast everyone dispersed to different movies and I went home to try to get some sleep.  I spent the afternoon in bed. I read, dozed, watched TV, and relaxed.  It was perfect.  By the time evening came I was rested and ready to finish up my traditional Jewish Christmas.

It was time for Chinese food.  I ordered in, after getting a busy signal for an hour.  Friends stopped by, and we enjoyed good food and good wine. Where It was a great Christmas all around.  It’s now noon on the 26th and my Canadian blood is telling me I should be out for Boxing Day shopping, but staying in bed is much more appealing.

Tonight is the 7th night of Hanukkah and with my son with his dad, it’s quite here.  I am going to enjoy the down time by catching up on sleep, reading and seeing friends.  Next week will mark the New Year and the end of my dating hiatus.  I am going to get back on the dating hell train and begin a new search for love.  God give me the strength to 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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