A Jew’s Christmas


I love the lights and the wreaths and the smug sense that I don’t have to exert any effort.

Growing up, I once asked my father if we could have a tree. I didn’t really want one, I just wanted to see what he would say. He was one of the least religious people ever, but his answer was unequivocal. I never asked again. It was fine.

One year, wanting to be among Jews, I went to see Schindler’s List on Christmas Day. Another year, Dream Girls at BAM, with my kids. It was packed, and I got an insight into how Christians spend Christmas.

This year, I celebrated by having brunch with an old friend and a new friend at my favorite all-purpose drinking and dining spot, The Living Room, inside the always-festive Maidstone. At the next table, Kim Cattrall [I wasn’t going to bold anything in this post, but that is a boldface name if ever there was one] was having Xmas Day brunch with her father. She looked not a day over 35, in black pants and a black lace top, and spent a lot of time on her Blackberry.

My own efforts at holiday sentiments usually come out cheesy, but I like what my friend Jim Lüning said in his holiday e-mail: “Cheers to making new mistakes in 2010, and never repeating the old ones.” Thanks, Jim. I love going into the new year with permission to make mistakes, as long as they’re fresh and not recycled.

3 thoughts on “A Jew’s Christmas

  1. I, too, love the no pressure of being Jewish at Xmas! We go to my friends’ every year and all I have to do is make dessert. And there’s no exchanging of gifts because no one needs a damned thing!

    Growing up in Cincinnati, Xmas was spent at a professional basketball game (Royals with Oscar Robertson), followed by dinner at the one Chinese restaurant in town. Along with all the other Jews!

  2. I celebrate Christmas, but have always wanted to peek into someone elses cultural and religious holidays, but have never had a chance. Christmas has become such a crazy time, I think lots of us would love to order Chinese and just have the time with family and friends.

  3. This year we did xmas to please my PILs, but since it was a very strange “traditional” Japanese xmas dinner and none of my husband’s family members are Christian anyway, it didn’t feel very Christmasy at all.
    And about the tree – ha! we had it when I was little, but then it mysteriously disappeared when I got to be around 9 or 10.

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