Archive for the ‘Chanukah’ Category

Christmas In The Air — Already???

November 15, 2007

Old St. Nick

Pushing my cart down the aisle in Shaw’s last weekend I noticed a song I hadn’t heard in a while…Silent Night. No, please, not yet. We’re only two weeks past the celebration for the Fall Classic, the Rolling Rally. “It’s too early for Christmas music,” I muttered. “You’re not kidding,” chimed in a woman nearby. At least it wasn’t “Feliz Navidad.”

Jon Keller had a funny report on WBZ-TV on the phenomenon. Click on the videoplayer to locate the report.

Now comes the latest story likely to send Bill O’Reilly into the stratosphere. Apparently Lowe’s advertised Christmas trees under the heading “Family Trees” in a recent catalogue. Watch this report. This makes no sense on any level. Lowe’s isn’t a municipality or government entity. They’re a commercial enterprise hoping to make a profit to people selling “Christmas Trees.” Anybody who would be buying that item would be doing so because they want a Christmas Tree.

There’s no First Amendment issue involved. Lowe’s has already backpeddled.

Since the big day is only a mere 35 days away, I feel that it’s important to put a couple things on the record. With the exception of being nauseated by the thought of Christmas music weeks before Thanksgiving? — what happened to Thanksgiving, a great American traditional holiday — I have no problem with Christmas whatsoever. Carols, Santa, even a creche in the center of town — Christmas is a big deal to a lot of folks. They ought to be able to celebrate it.

As readers of probably know, I’m Jewish and I celebrate Chanukah. I love Chanukah, but one thing that bugs me about the celebration is how it’s been elevated to near Christmas-like proportions. I’ve noticed over the years how all kinds of folks go out of their way this time of year to wish me a Happy Chanukah. That’s thoughtful. I, however, wish this holiday could be viewed in its proper perspective. It’s far less important than Rosh Hashana, the New Year; Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement; or Passover. Nobody knows what to say to me about Yom Kippur because it’s a hard holiday for Christians to get their heads around. It’s just that different. (There is one person I hear from every Yom Kippur eve. This is a person who wishes me an easy fast knowing how much I hate to be without food.)

In America, Chanukah has even appropriated the qualities of other Jewish holidays. In past times, Purim was the Jewish gift-giving holiday. How do you explain Purim?

When we enter December, I’ll be sure to eat potato latkes and spin my share of dreidels. And if the world at large wants to have Christmas trees, give presents, see Santa, it’s no skin of my back. In fact, I wish a hearty Merry Christmas to you folks who celebrate it. But can we hold off a little bit on the music, please?