It’s that time of year again.
Chubby, red-faced Santas now peer through the glass in every holiday-spirited store. Fake snow dusts the tops of display tables and there are strings of lights hanging from every corner of the room. Thanksgiving was just a quick stop on the way to everyone’s favorite holiday: Christmas.
Actually, I must rephrase that previous sentiment. “Everyone” was a bold and glaring exaggeration. Many people, myself included, don’t care about Christmas. I’m not saying this because I’m an Ebenezer Scrooge-type who hates all things jolly, I’m saying this because I’m Jewish.
A fellow writer here at Her Campus recently shared an article about what it was like for her growing up in a Christian dominated society. I can definitely relate and empathize with her struggles. A couple easy jokes about some overused stereotype never really gets to me, but the blatant disregard for the Jewish culture in its entirety, especially during the holidays, leaves me quite bitter.
For me, Christmas is just another day where my Instagram feed is full of stuff I would rather scroll past. There are endless pictures of overpriced presents that nobody needs and cliché group shots by the tree that look just like everybody else’s.
Like I said, I’m a tad bitter.
No matter how hard I try to steer clear, Christmas is unavoidable.
Suddenly, coffee shops are unable to make a simple cappuccino or a scone. They have no other options but to sell peppermint frappuccinos with red and green sprinkles or gingerbread cookies shaped like reindeer.
“Do you guys have any pastries that sort of resembles a Star of David?”
“Well, maybe next year.”
I can’t walk out of a store in December without being wished a “Merry Christmas” by someone. It’s well intended, and I don’t mean to come off as unappreciative for the cheery remark, but it’s sort of close-minded. A “Happy Holidays” is equally as hospitable and includes Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever else someone may be celebrating.
I suggest more people opt for the latter.
Just the other day, I walked into Target and there was an entire wing of the store dedicated to selling Christmas trees, ornaments, lights and wrapping paper. I’m sure the corporate elites at Target would be quick to reassure us all that they do, in fact, have a section dedicated to those of us who celebrate Hanukkah.
But, before you praise them, let me describe to you what I found after searching high and low for any signs of the Festival of Lights.
There were about three shelves on the end of an aisle, crammed between the vacuums and surplus school supplies, with a sign that read “Happy Hanukkah” in varying shades of blue. There were opened packets of gelt (those tiny chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil), some scattered dreidels and a few busted up menorahs.
That’s what you’ve got for me?
I didn’t even ask if they sold matzo ball soup or challah.
So, to my fellow Jews who feel a bit shut out during the holiday season and must succumb to your friends demanding everyone watch Elf for the fifteenth time, know that I am here for you. Maybe at the next movie night, you guys can watch Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights or perhaps A Rugrats Chanukah.
Clearly, our options are limited.
If you are not Jewish and you found this article to be nothing more than me bashing on your favorite things, go listen to the Christmas station on Pandora and try to understand where I’m coming from. I promise I’m not actually the Grinch disguised as a cynical college student. I’m only trying to have a little fun and maybe prove a point. At the very least, I hope you can take away that everyone has their own thing going on and that may mean they don’t love Christmas as much as you do.
I know Buddy the Elf has told you over and over again that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear” but maybe this year, try spreading some generic, neutral holiday happiness.