December 27, 2010 | 4:40 pm
Posted by Tamara Shayne Kagel
My family doesn’t celebrate Christmas. My mother is very clear about this. We don’t have a holiday party, we have a Hanukkah party where gentiles are invited. We don’t get a tree, a bush, or a plant of any kind or put up any lights. We put up Hanukkah decorations so everyone knows our house is a festive Hanukkah supporting house but not because of anything Christians do. We don’t get eight presents because Christian kids get Christmas presents. We get eight presents because we deserve it after we put up with our parents the rest of the year.
Yet despite our steadfast anti-celebration of Christmas, we do always get together as a family because there is literally nothing else to do and no one else to do it with. And as it turns, it happens to be my favorite holiday. Here’s why:
It’s the one day of the year my family always spends together where there are zero expectations.
Your family seems as neurotic as mine does the rest of the year.
We go to the movies. Where we don’t have to pray.
Nobody’s nagging me to just try the liver or just taste the kishka.
I don’t have to help out in the kitchen. We eat out. I have never seen my mom so calm.
There’s no traffic. I can get to my parents house in under twenty minutes. I didn’t realize there were so many Christians in LA.
We don’t entertain at our house. We are always shocked to run into all our Jewish friends at the Arclight. We can only visit with our family friends for about five minutes before the movie starts.
We ask each other where everyone’s going for Chinese. We don’t talk about how many Jews died or were enslaved or were brutalized or starved.
We don’t have to dress up. Jeans are totally acceptable and I don’t have to wear skirts long enough for Temple.
I don’t feel profane for getting wasted. I don’t have to pretend to enjoy kosher wine. People believe me when I tell them shots of chilled Grey Goose are Christmassy.
It’s a forced vacation from work. Even my dad has no emails on his Blackberry.
My mom lists off all the Jewish friends we have that get Christmas trees which aren’t religious and are just a fun tradition. My sister and I are suddenly more successful than all of them because we don’t.
We didn’t spend last week at the mall. We feel God has truly blessed us.
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