Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Hanukkah?

The holidays are my favorite time of year. All the way from Thanksgiving Day through New Year's Day. It's a time to celebrate and be with family. For the past two Christmases I worked for a Christian senior living community. We'd sing Christmas songs and celebrate the season. Now that I've moved on to a "corporate" job, I'm realizing how sensitive people are when it comes to the holidays.

I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. I know I wouldn't get offended if anyone told me Happy Hanukkah. I hope I'm not coming off as ignorant as I feel this sounds, but what do Jewish people do on Christmas? I read an article on about what Jewish people do on Christmas but it didn't really answer my question. I mean, I know life goes on. Just like Hanukkah is another ordinary eight days for me, is Christmas just another ordinary day?

I find it interesting to learn and appreciate other cultures and views. Even though I don't celebrate Hanukkah, I always make sure to tell my Jewish friends to have a Happy Hanukkah. With how over-marketed Christmas is, do people of the Jewish faith feel pressured or left out when (as Adam Sandler says) "you feel like the only kid in town without a Christmas tree?"

When I was in grade school we learned about Hanukkah, the festival of lights, the oil burning for eight days, and of course the eight days of presents! But, I never actually met a Jewish person until I was 15. I was brought up in a very small town without a Jewish person in sight! So when my family moved and I met my first Jewish person I thought - cool! I loved hearing about Passover and Hanukkah, their family traditions, and meals.

I hate that this season has become so politically correct that I can't wish my coworker a Happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas, but I have to say "Happy Holidays." As a society we're all so oversensitive. Or maybe I'm just hard to offend? I  hope that I can raise my son to appreciate other cultures. I wish I knew more about Kwanzaa. The internet can only give you so much information. I'd like to hear stories from real people!

No matter what holiday you're celebrating this season, I hope you have a wonderful one filled with family, friends, laughter and memories!


Pres. Kathy said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

becca said...

I'm Jewish and have written a bunch of posts on this topic. I'mcertainly not offended when people say Merry Christmas to me but my daughter will be the first to say we don't celebrate it. It's mostly difficult on the kids because in a world where MOST people celebrate Christmas, my kids just feel different and a little left out. But I make Chanukah as fun and special as I can! And as far as Christmas being just another day for us? Nope, it can't because NOTHING is open so we just have a nice day at home. Or ideally, we're out skiing on the EMPTY ski slopes!

Check out my blog for a few other of my thoughts on this... Most recently yesterday (which was mostly in jest).

Great post and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Mamma M said...

I have a Jewish friend who celebrates X-mas eve with her Christian family either way. I think for a lot of people the holidays have become a lot about just spending time with family

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