Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas music blares from the House of Crumpet. My kids are ecstatic. Mudd (who is now 5) occasionally looks up from what he is doing and says with an excited face and gremlin voice, “Christmas!” or, "Christmas is coming!" and he, StarShine and Calamity Jane run over to each other and get excited and talk about what they want. I know that I should not be encouraging of this because they are excited for the presents under the tree and the rich, good food after a month of fasting (we eat kosher vegan-- not exactly church rules but it's easier for me) and having meals that get repetitious after a bit because I only do three or four, but let’s face it: the mere birth of Christ is not the exciting part. Would it even be an issue if we didn’t have presents? There is an industry on Christmas. What if retail has saved Christ’s birth from obscurity in some ways? Society has a Sesame Street attention span and I don’t think the holiday would be on anyone’s radar were it not for retail.
If retail got insane over Chanukah, a lot of people in our country would be Jewish because they were attracted to it. One of my OB's told me that Chanukah was a low-key holiday until the West realized how close it was to Christmas and then it got trumped up. If Jewish New Year was closer to Western New Year, I think there would be the right way to celebrate, which the Jews would have held on to, and the Typical Way that everyone else does. Christians don't have the same hold on their holidays and this makes me sad.