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!