The Holidays From A (Sort of) Jewish Girl
The big controversy these days is how the major holidays (xmas, Easter, etc.) might be making minorities feel left out and I thought IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d share some of my feelings on this as a girl raised with eight days of Chanukah instead of 12 days of xmas.
The first chunk of my life I was mostly surrounded by other Jewish kids since I went to a Jewish private school but starting 7th grade when we moved, I began a whole new part of my life in public school. Immediately I realized how different it was and quickly realized I was one of very few Jewish kids.
Most of the Jewish kids I knew were not really Jewish as they had the xmas tree and looked forward to SantaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s gifts in the morning. I, on the other hand, celebrated the 8 days of Chanukah usually on weeknights (didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get it off from school) along with lighting the candles every night with a prayer.
I wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t lie, I always felt left out and became very bitter towards xmas as it became bigger and bigger as I got older. Every year I dreaded this time of year more and more. The moment I hear one of the xmas carols or see a store filled to rim with santas I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t help but cringe.
IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve noticed also that people get a lot more cranky this time of year, especially drivers and shoppers. Once Thanksgiving comes around I try to avoid the mall if I can and if I need to buy anything I try to just do it online. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m just not interested in being cut off on the highway by a minivan or knocked over by an anxious shopper. No thank you.
In school I did do my part to change some things. I encouraged the xmas concert to be the holiday concert (back in the 90s) and I convinced the band director to include some Chanukah songs. I even, one year, sang the Chanukah prayer in the holiday concert with another Jewish girl. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m still very glad I stood up for all the other Jewish kids who just sit by the sidelines.
So personally, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d rather all the xmas lights, xmas trees, xmas decorations, xmas songs and xmas everything not be shoved in face. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d rather it not be SO much because despite the fact I avoid most holidays I am also am reminded how I felt left out as a kid. Do whatever you want in your own house and on your own time but does it really need to be everywhere?