I wanted to post again on this topic because I wanted to say, that I didn't mean to sound like a total grinch!!!
I was mostly responding to Amy's friend's comments, which are pretty extreme and sorta oppressive, actually, in not wanting to even acknowledge other religions or holidays, much less admit that they are valid as well and that the people who celebrate them deserve equal respect and deserve a place for their own beliefs and practices in a religiously heterogenous society. I don't begrudge anybody Christmas, all I would like is for a greater acknowledgment and awareness (in the world at large, not on here) that not everybody celebrates it and that's okay! I mean, I am totally aware that the majority of people in the U.S. *are* Christian, whether that means they have deeply felt Christian religious beliefs, or are just "Christian by default" because they were born into Christian families and haven't officially renounced Christianity and/or converted to another religion and that both these groups generally celebrate Christmas, either in a religious way or secular way or a bit of both. And I do enjoy some aspects of Christmas--I mean, I like driving around and looking at decorations, and some of the music, the eggnog, the trees, the celebrations, getting holiday cards, and so on. (So don't anybody cross me off your Christmas card list!
) It's just that I like it all sort of as an anthropologist "participant-observer"--I can party with the natives like the best of 'em, but it's still not totally my culture. I like the concept of giving and sharing, and I can really appreciate the sense of awe and wonder and reverence around the birth of Jesus--as a mother and a midwife I find that really moving.
I really could relate to what Mel said about the "secret society handshake" because of my own religious upbringing, as my mom was actually raised Christian and converted to Judaism, and my dad was born Jewish to russian immigrant parents. I was raised Jewish but a significant part of my family was Christian and we did celebrate Christmas with my grandparents, as we were their only family. We did hanukkah and Passover and some other holidays too, but my parents weren't really interested in a very vibrant Jewish life (and my dad didn't really participate too much in anything we did while we were growing up) but they exposed me to a lot of people who were very culturally and religiously into Judaism by sending me to Hebrew school and Jewish youth groups and summer camps, etc, so I ended up feeling very left out in both the Jewish community and the mainstream society. Both for having this fractured religious background and also for having this completely dysfunctional family dynamic on top of it (well and then just being me and having been weird and alternative from an early age
) I grew up with a lot of feeling like I was different and out of place. Now that Ella is old enough to start asking questions and showing interest in it all there is a certain level of discomfiture. She is asking about Christmas, and when will it be Christmas, and will we have Christmas cookies and a christmas tree and what about Santa and etc etc. She's all about holidays and birthdays and celebrations this year, so it's hard to explain to her that we don't actually do Christmas in our house! Especially because the conversation went like, "why?" "Because Christmas is a Christian holiday and we're not Christian." "Why?" "Well, because Mommy is Jewish and Daddy is Hindu." "What am I?" "Well, uh, umm . . . " DH: "You're Hin-Jew." That satisfied the question and ended the conversation for the moment, but I suspect it's a temporary cease-fire! I think it's time to get the menorah out of storage and find Adam Sandler on you-tube, lol! ("put on your yarmulke, it's time for hanukkah . . . .") Either that or plan a big Festivus celebration! It appears that I already have a head start on the traditional airing of grievances!
Sorry if this whole thing reads like a Judy Blume novel. ("Are you there, God? It's me, Kavita.") Lol.
Today I went and did a little shopping, so I now have a winter jacket, some nice gloves, a hat, and a very soft and warm and fuzzy cashmere scarf that was still too expensive despite being heavily marked down at TJ Maxx but I'm going to keep anyway because it feels so good that I am in loooove. I'm excited, because I was seriously
: for a while there--for some reason this winter seems much colder than last year. I also got Ella a warmer winter coat, and a hat and mittens and a pair of gloves for DH. Yesterday we went to Brynn's birthday party, and it was really nice. Other than that I've just been dealing with DH and Ella who have both been intermittently really annoying me this weekend. I will be very glad to ship them both off to work/preschool and have a few moments of peace!!