Christmas is approaching. I wish I could say it has been hovering just since Thanksgiving, but it has really been creeping up since Halloween. The actual holiday is still two weeks away, but if you look around you might be forgiven for thinking otherwise. There may not be snow on the ground in this part of the world, but there is snow in the hearts of a lot of excited people. And that unmitigated (and unwarranted?) joy can be frustrating to some.
Now I have just as much reason to be flustered as the next guy. I am a Jew, and though some corners of society have attempted to include my people in the festivities leading up to the winter solstice, it never really rings true. Most stores probably have a Star of David or a menorah stashed somewhere amongst all of the red and green iconography, but finding it is as difficult as searching for the afikoman without a flashlight – my Jew crew knows what I’m talking about!
Honestly, though, it really doesn’t bother me that much. And it probably should. But it doesn’t. For all the talk of this being a “Christian nation,” that isn’t true anymore. Sure, most of the country may identify in that way, but how many actually believe? How many people actually take the time to think about that bearded white man riding a dinosaur in ancient Judea on December 25th? And even if they do remember that dude – who definitely had porcelain-white skin – he’s probably high-fiving a fatter white dude in a big red coat. All of those crazy conservatives are wrong: there is no war against Christmas, because Jesus surrendered Christmas to Santa 60 years ago. Someone should tell Kirk Cameron before he keeps embarrassing himself.
So I can’t really justify getting too angry from a religious perspective, especially when so many people have willingly replaced the phrase “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays.” I know there are people who are upset about this shift (again, probably Kirk Cameron), but those are the people we should avoid.
But if you know me, you know that I need to complain. So if I can’t criticize the holiday season for unfairly excluding me as a person, what can I criticize it for? Well I guess I could address the movie situation. Christmas gets all of the movies, and some of them are even good! Gremlins, Batman Returns, Die Hard. These movies aren’t even about Christmas, but they are. You know what I mean? All we get is Eight Crazy Nights. So… yeah.
And then there is the music. I don’t even care that much about the movies – or they don’t really annoy me, at least. But the music? Ho-lee shit. Just over and over on repeat, everywhere. And there are people who listen to it all of the time. What? Why? I know some of these people. Well, I know one. If you’re reading this, you know who you are. And shame on you.
But it’s 2014; I can mostly ignore Christmas music. I do my Hanukkah shopping on the internet. I listen to podcasts in grocery stores. I avoid that one person I mentioned above until the new year. I have come to the conclusion that I have no real leg to stand on when it comes to complaining about the holiday season. Sure, it is exasperating to see Christmas decorations in November, but who am I to judge? If throwing tinsel all over the place and eating wreaths makes someone happy, I say go for it. I’ll be watching Eight Crazy Nights on repeat.