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A Thought About Hannukah

Since my mom passed away, I haven't really celebrated Hannukah.  When she was alive, we lit the menorah, spun the dreidel and we definitely had latkes with our meal.  Hannukah isn't known for it's meals, but my mother would always make a brisket at some point.  We always had matzo in the house, but then again, we did most of the year.  When I was little I would receive presents every night, but as I got older, I'd usually just get one big present.  I must say, getting little presents eight nights in a row was pretty awesome as a kid.  While I've never been religious, I do miss the festival of lights. 

One thing dawned on me recently while discussing the holiday time of year.  All the years I was alive, Christmas trees and wreaths adorned many homes and businesses, but menorah's and dreidels were few and far between.  Do you know what?  Nobody commented.  There wasn't a bunch of people protesting or complaining about their absence.  I don't know if it's because Jews keep their religion where it is supposed to be (internal) or some other reason, but there was never any hoopla regarding it.  The whole keep Christ in Christmas thing is monotonous.  Every year people get their panties in a bunch over this.  The ironic thing is it's Christians who have taken Christ out of Christmas by making it a mockery of it's true meaning.  I honestly don't know any Jews who get offended by someone wishing them a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays.  Yet, you say Happy Holidays to some and they look at you with a scowl and make a point to let you know they celebrate Christmas.  It's become almost a knee jerk reaction to complain for some when someone wishes them well. 

We are in the midst of Hannukah and when people wish me a Happy Hannukah, it's almost always in jest.  I'd like to think it's because they know my lack of religious belief and not because they find the tradition comical.  I would like to believe that everyone respects all religions, but I know that isn't the case.  I won't be lighting a menorah tonight.  I won't spin a dreidel.  I won't eat latkes or rugelach  (I hope I do, but I doubt it).  I will however think about my childhood and my mother.  The pride she took in the holiday and the fun we had. I will probably run into twenty people who will wish me a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  I probably won't run into more than one or two who will wish me a Happy Hannukah. I'm OK with that.  I know they mean well and it's not worth my energy to be offended by someones kind words.  It shouldn't for anyone this time of year.  Happy Holidays works for me.

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