It happened just last week. I have a new friend who swims at the same time I do each day, and she asked what I do for XMAS. Big dinner XMAS eve?
So I told her that no, we don't do that. But it brought back a very old memory. My brothers, me, and my parents, seems like it was always a Wednesday on December 24. The store, my father's store, finally closed for the holiday. This is before online shopping, so retail shops on the streets thrived in November-December. A family could eat all year on the profits for the season alone. So it was a celebration, and we DID have a big dinner, even if it was in the middle of the week, simply celebrating the end of the retail season and so much work. And it was great.
Sometimes it would be on Chanukah, too, but not always. Because the Jewish calendar is lunar, the dates of our holidays are different each year.
And guess what? Chanukah is over, and yet people still want to know:
What do you do on Chanukah?
If we caved back then, would we even be here right now? Probably not. Jews don't go to war over nothing.
|lasagna, mock meat|
potato latkas, the traditional kind
The gifts can get out of control, I hear. In family therapy they are described as a tremendous source of stress.
There's a Moth podcast about a woman who feels compelled to buy an expensive wedding dress, even though she isn't a real "wedding dress" kind of gal. It's worth hearing, if spending money for the holidays makes you sick. Find Jesse Klein on The Moth Radio Hour for that.
Yeah, grieve them.
And every one of them tells me what I already know, because I know them: "Nah, we never did that. For what? Why would we do that, go out with all the crazies who drink too much, risk getting into a car wreck? The streets aren’t even safe, and there’s plenty to watch on television. We're just going to stay home, maybe play some cards, eat popcorn."