OK, so I'm half Jewish. My dad's half, which if you're really Jewish doesn't count. And it also probably doesn't count because I've never set foot in a temple, but I'll be damned if I wasn't drinking at the Seder by age 5. Growing up we celebrated Christmas and Chanukkah, but since I left home I've never been a big Christmas fan (or Chanukkah, for that matter, but it is a much easier holiday to ignore, especially here in Spokane where I swear I am the first Jew a lot of people have met). It seems depressing - makes me think about what some people don't have, rather than what I and my loved ones do.
Since we moved to Spokane my attitude towards Christmas has changed from avoidance to disdain to down right anger at the whole damn thing. People are out of control with Christmas here. There are from yards where you pull up (duh, of course you're in the car, it's freezing!) in front and there is a sign directing you to turn your radio to a specific station where you will hear the music that goes with the light display in front of you. And no mention of Chanukkah. Not even a blue candle here and there. I'm not one of those people who needs equal attention to all holidays but come on , throw me a bone- latkah mix at the grocery store? A dreidel at the toy store? Nothing.
So I am grumpy Christmas woman. Grumpy about the materialism, about the music, about the lines at stores, about the fact that good Chinese doesn't exist here so there is nothing to eat on Christmas day. This year I was expecting more of the same but something happened - Hayden got excited about Christmas
We're still trying to explain the whole thing to him, but at this point every time he sees anything he deems Christmasish he screams "MAMA! CHRISTMAS! LOOK! THERE IS CHRISTMAS!" It's adorable. He's not excited because he wants presents - he doesn't even know about that part yet. He's excited because it's exciting to him. Because there is some guy who flies through the air with deer. Because you can have a tree in your house. Because there are pretty lights. Because we get to do fun things together.
So OK kid, I'm game. Let's fucking celebrate Christmas. Let's do it! While I will keep the presents to a minimum this year I, Jewish-Quaker-Christian raised by parents who've never met a remote control they could work, will embrace all the rest. Bring it on! Thus far I have accomplished the following Christmas related tasks:
1. Made and frozen dough to make cookies when the time comes
2. Written and addressed cards (ok, they don't say "Christmas", they say "Peace" - but I'm counting them).
3. Gone to the woods with my family, selected and sawed down a tree.
Hold on. Let me repeat that one. We got in the car. We drove to the woods. We (well, Jeremy) cut down a tree! No one was maimed, and we actually even enjoyed ourselves! In case you are having a hard time understanding how amazing that is please see previous reference to parents who are unable to work a remote control - I do not come from woodsy or handy or crafty stock.
4. Decorated said tree
5. Used discarded limbs from said tree to make a wreath.
Take that Martha! And Hayden has loved every second of it. Zeni is just interested in eating the tree. But Hayden gets excited. He jumps up and down, he dances, he sings Christmas carols, he talks about how beautiful the tree is. He LOVES it. And that makes me very, very happy - dare I say Merry?