Friday, December 14, 2007

Faking Chanukah

Let's face it, I'm a Humbug.

It all started when I began working retail when I was eight years old to help my mother's home jewelry business, it was weekend work and let me put enough money aside to get myself some fun toys as well as put aside a little nest egg to get me off of my feet when I turned 18 and moved out on my own. The only part of the job I really didn't like was the Christmas season. The angry soccer moms, the rude and pushy fathers, the general lack of anything remotely resembling empathy or good will towards their fellow humans. Just about the only thing I ever did learn to like about the winter season was the smell of cinnamon, though that has more to do with my love of odd tea blends than any great enjoyment I got from those nasty Holiday Doom scented candles. What twisted mind thinks that pine and nutmeg smell good together? After years of verbal abuse from harried consumer whores, my ability to enjoy a holiday that seems to be entirely about gifts and getting overstuffed surrounded by strange relatives and holiday friends has significantly waned.

I personally feel no great loss or failure to endure on my part, it's not my fault that folks lose their common sense (not to mention sense of decency, christmas lawn ornaments shame our entire species) during the holidays; people too easily forget themselves when everyone has to find something semi-meaningful to give every person they know on the same day every year. Maybe staggered regional holidays would have been better, like Spring Break, only with fewer wet t-shirt contests. However, all good planning aside, very few seem willing to accept that Christmas just isn't my holiday of choice.

Quite frankly I'm getting tired of telling my story of retail woes and holiday cruelty to the new people in my life, so I think I'm going to start telling people that I've converted to Judaism. After all, I love potato pancakes, dradles are kinda fun, and a menorah is significantly less obnoxious than a dead tree covered in plastic baubles that sheds tinsel and pine needles all over the house.

I guess the real conundrum is whether or not it's inherently wrong to pretend that you're Jewish for two months out of the year. Is it gauche to intentionally become a jigger?

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