Oh, I SO enjoyed reading this thread!!! Also hoping I can remember the responses I planned while reading.
First, I don't think it is RUDE when other people assume we celebrate Christmas... I think it is ANNOYING. :LOL For the five millionth time in my life, I have to decide whether to say, "Thanks, but we don't celebrate Xmas" or just keep it to myself. I know it will kind of embarrass the person, but I'm all about spreading the word, educating etc. But it gets old sometimes to have to be Jewish Ambassador To The World At Large.
Also, we just moved from NY, Jew Central, to Washington State, Nary a Jew in Sight. So I'm putting on my Ambassador suit and getting revved up to spread the word. We'll be having a giant Channukah party and inviting all our new friends who are, by and large, not Jewish. It'll be dreidels, gelt and latkes for everyone, but NO Channukah bush or Channukah Harry for me.
Why not? I don't want to be competing with Xmas. I dont' want to be borrowing from other traditions when we have nice fun stuff of our own. Truth be told, Channukah is such a minor holiday, only getting so much attention because of its proximity to Xmas.
We tell our kids that Santa Claus is part of a story that some people believe. (Uh oh, that's kinda the same thing we tell him about God!!) Four year old Sam will come out and say that Santa is not real. My husband says, no wonder everyone hates the Jews.
My inlaws are Catholic, so we have an interesting situation... we identify as Jewish, but Sam knows that some "Easter people" as he puts it, are in our family.
Hmm.. I think I had more to say on this subject, but....
Oh, about that place where the majority of people are Jewish. (Not Long Island.) I remember the odd but amazing feeling when being there, of FINALLY not having to explain myself.
|Only one country in the world where you don't have to worry about final exams possibly scheduled for Shavuot, or job deadlines scheduled for Sukkot, or even school orientations for Rosh HaShanah. Not to mention birthday parties (with cake, right?) during Passover. Or the boss expecting you to be able to come in to work on Saturday.
I identified with this so closely. On so many occasions we've been met with this type of conflict. People don't mean to be inconsiderate, but they just don't THINK about Jewish observance. I am by no means "observant" but I have raised a fuss on many occasions when a professor wanted to penalize me for missing class on the first night of Passover. It becomes a personal choice, do I want to be Jewish or go to Band Camp? Do I want to be Jewish or miss class? Having to make this choice again and again has made me somewhat of a sourpuss about it. It's no fun to miss out!
My husband converted to Judaism and is not strongly identified. He often chooses to go to work on major holidays. He feels like missing work on Yom Kippur is asking for special treatment. He doesn't want to do that. He feels he is being irresponsible to miss work for major Jewish holidays. That irks me.
Have I gone on long enough? Thnks for listening. Hope I addressed some point, somewhere! :LOL
Oh, I thougth of one other funny thing. I worked as a teacher in an all-girls private Catholic High School on Chicago's south side. For many girls, I was the only Jew they had ever met in person (or even heard of). They were appalled that I did not celebrate CHristmas. They felt so *bad* for me! They thougth I was just ill-informed. "You know, Ms. G. you could have a Christmas tree if you want one!" Clearly, I just needed to read a few books, so I could know THE TRUTH! Such warm hearts!