I’m Jewish, so it kinda goes without saying, but this time of year was always really anti-climatic for me growing up. I’d experience all the build up of the season (the lights! the food!) and then…. nothing. Hanukkah is alright, but there are only so many potato latkes you can eat to try and fill the gaping void of Christmas.
And if you think there is nothing worse than being a Jew on Christmas, try being a Jew on Christmas who dislikes both movies and Chinese food. I know, right?! I fancied myself quite the Scrooge.
But now that I have a half-Christian son, I am full-on embracing the holiday. Minus the Jesus part, of course.
Every year since G was born, I’ve gotten a big Christmas tree – one that looks remarkably out of place in my small living room. This time, I swore I was going to go smaller. I didn’t. I went bigger. (See picture to the right.)
I bake Christmas cookies (for G), make a huge, delicious Christmas meal (also for G. and not ham, of course), and play Christmas music constantly (again. totally for G). But here’s the one part of the holiday I don’t get – the presents.
I mean, if you’re a kid, sure. I get it. But adults giving each other gifts on a certain day just seems f-ing bizarre to me. I have a job, I have money; if I want something, I can get it myself. And if I haven’t gotten it for myself, I probably didn’t think it was worth spending the money on. So why would you?
Also, because you’re usually required to give gifts reciprocally, don’t the gifts cancel each other out? If I buy you a $100 sweater and you buy me a $100 pair of shoes, didn’t we both just spend $100 to give each other crap we don’t need?
Today I took G to the mall to get a present for the Ex. Yes, I took him to the mall (and I hate malls) on the last weekend day before Christmas (and I also hate large groups of people). Everywhere, we were surrounded by people buying, buying, buying. Just so that they’d have stuff to give someone who was giving them stuff. The environmentalist in me thought of the waste. The cheapskate in me thought of the expense. And all of me shuddered that I. WAS. ONE. OF. THEM.
We escaped the mall mostly in tact, saying nothing about the damage I had done to both my wallet and my sense of self. But we had successfully snagged a gift for the Ex. A gift that, while overpriced and mostly unnecessary, I think he’ll really like.
Merry Christmas, to all those celebrating!