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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Holiday Season

It's amazing to me. I work in a company who derives a large portion of their business from Christmas. Our office has been full of decorations since September. I walk up and down 34th Street every day. My next door neighbors have decorated their house with lights and a couple animated reindeer. And yet, I still don't feel the Christmas rush like I used to. Growing up, all my friends were Christian. Their families made huge deals about decorating their houses, putting up trees, having huge Christmas dinners. I joined them on many occasions, swapping gifts with them year after year. When I was in high school, Christmas time was hard. I was the only Jew in my school, so I felt a bit left out, to say the least. I sang in the choir, and if I wanted to be part of it, it meant singing a lot of Christmas songs, with possibly one Chanukah song thrown in for good measure (sometimes). It was hard, but I think it helped make my Jewish identity even stronger - I knew I was different and I was forced to stand up for it and make it a part of me. Those things that we work the hardest for in life are often the ones that are the most important to us. But my life has changed a lot now. I don't have that many non-Jewish friends any more. Christmas basically means a day off work to me now. Oh, and my boss just reminded me what Christmas is to so many Jews - Chinese food and movies. I like that I don't feel Christmas the same way I used to - there seems to have been a paradigm shift at some point when I tipped the balance from living more in the Jewish world than the secular. It's nice feeling that I am not so alone not celebrating the big holiday. I know I am in good company now. Good Shabbos to everyone!

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