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The best of the holiday season to you.

November 28, 2011

“Christmas can be a tough season for Jewish families in a world flooded with Christmas decorations and advertisements.”

So states a pamphlet I found online called “THE DECEMBER DILEMMA: Tips to Survive the Holiday Season,” made available by the Union for Reform Judaism.

As open minded as I am about diversity in our community, and I am very open minded about diversity, Christmas IS a tough season for me — I admit it — with all of the canned holiday music and the overwhelming decorations pervading the retail scene, in malls, on TV, etc.

I do try to be equanimous about the subject.

I realize that my Jewish affiliation puts me in a group representing roughly two percent of the population.

And I realize that the overwhelming majority in our country celebrates Christmas.

Nevertheless, I do feel marginalized by all the Christmas hype.

I never know how to respond when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas.”

It is probably most diplomatic to say, “The same to you,” and that’s what I say.

And yet, that is not the most satisfying answer.

Although maybe its’ an innocent remark, when someone wishes me “Merry Christmas,” I hear it more as an unawareness of, or insensitivity to, me and my traditions.

I would be more satisfied if someone paid attention to the differences rather than assuming the similarities, and instead wished me “the best of the holiday season.”

That I can handle, that I can swallow, and that is what I like to say to others.

So, I wish the best of the holiday season to each of you who read this, and a Happy New Year.


From → Stories

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