We all desire the Christmas spirit


It’s not difficult to tell when the Christmas season has arrived. Walk around any town and you will notice red and green lights glimmering on lively streets, and you will stare in awe at cars carrying trees that span a greater length than their roof.

However, if you are like me and don’t celebrate Christmas, these traditions can often make you feel excluded.

I have grown up in a Jewish household, celebrated the Jewish holidays and, albeit reluctantly, gone to services when need be. I have also heard all the explanations as to why Chanukah is actually better than Christmas.

“We get eight days while they only get one,” my parents would feebly tell me in response to my pleading for a Christmas tree.

They knew just as well as I did that Chanukah simply cannot match Christmas’ festivity.

Now, I am not downplaying Judaism or any other religion. Chanukah is an important holiday for the Jewish community, and for that reason I value and celebrate it. I simply enjoy feeling involved in the Christmas spirit as well.

So how do I balance my dedication to Judaism with my desire to feel involved in Christmas? I turn on the radio and listen to Christmas music.

Whether it be “Christmas Time is Here” or “White Christmas,” I love them all, and, judging by the high frequency that Christmas music played on radio stations, I am surely not alone in feeling this way.

However, when I explain this passion to my brother, he isn’t always supportive. He claims to possess a sixth sense that “alerts” him whenever he opposes his Jewish roots. This causes him to avoid listening to Christmas music on account of a feeling of guilt, despite his admittance of enjoying it.

Confused? So am I. My brother’s enjoying a feature of Christmas is not harmful, nor does it conflict with any major aspects of Judaism. Christmas is widely celebrated and enjoyed in American culture, so why should people feel hesitant to get into the “holiday spirit”?

I urge anyone who can relate to my brother to have an open mind. Just turn on the radio; around this time of year, it won’t take long for you to find a station playing Christmas music.

Trust me.