I’m Jewish and I Love Christmas

Written by: Miriam Saslove; Edited by: Jocelyn Courneya

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Yes, you read that right. When I tell people that I love Christmas, they often look at me like I’m crazy. Most people groan the second those trees, lights and carols start popping up, but not me.

Hanukkah falls on a different day each year. It’s actually on the same day of the Jewish calendar, which is tied to the moon’s cycles instead of the sun’s. This means there will be some variation in the day it falls on our regular calendars, and leads to a lot of Jews Googling “when is hanukkah this year,” some time in November. What I wouldn’t give to just know when my favourite holiday was going to be.

Because both my parents are Jewish, I never got the “Christmukkah” those half-Jewish kids bragged about. I always knew Santa wasn’t real, so my bitterness was translated into crushing the dreams of my Christmas-celebrating classmates. Now that I think about it, I was probably just jealous of them.

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I’ve always thought my love of Christmas was a classic “we always want what we can’t have” situation. Don’t get me wrong, I love being Jewish, but there’s something about Christmas and everything that goes along with it that just brings me pure joy. There’s a certain feeling that goes along with Christmas – one I just can’t pinpoint – that I never got to experience. Instead, I live vicariously through my friends and the holiday-themed playlist at work.

Around the holiday season, I love asking people about their Christmas traditions. It fascinates me how families can celebrate one holiday in so many different ways. It also makes me think about how I’d celebrate Christmas with my family, if I could. Would we wake up at the crack of dawn and open presents? Would we sleep in and open presents, followed by a big brunch? These are the things I think about.

I might not ever get to celebrate Christmas, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean I can’t wish I did.

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