Saturday, December 20, 2008

So this is Christmas...

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity around here, trying to finish up one intense self-imposed deadline (I would say "Mission accomplished!" but that term is pretty much meaningless and tainted with ugliness post-W) and contending with all the busyness of the season. There is so much to do around here this time of year, not just buying gifts, decorating and whatnot. There are Santa-commandeered 'L' trains to catch, Tchaikovsky-scored ballets to view, cranberries to string and pine cones to spread with peanut butter and roll in bird seed, and on and on. Mind you, we haven't done any of those things yet, but it still takes up my time thinking about all the festive and enriching activities that we are currently missing. So I am actively absorbing my time in a state of neurosis, which is perhaps the purest expression of my holiday spirit seeing as I am of the Semitic, desert-wandering orientation.

For what it's worth, I'm not all that impressed with Hanukkah either, which kind of seems like an also-ran this time of year, though we do celebrate and will be having a little vegan latke-devouring party - maybe we should make it into a competition? - at our house Tuesday night with a couple of my shiksa friends and their families, my mother and Justice's adopted uncle. I'm looking forward to this very much. It has always struck me as comical and perhaps very telling that at the foundation of nearly every (or is it every?) Jewish holiday story is the hard kernel of oppression. Even Purim, the supposedly fun Jewish holiday, has the threat of the annihilation of the tribe at it's core. I think that in my heart of hearts, I have a distinctly Jewish soul, so I cannot help but find this to be very funny. (My friend - a fellow Jewess - and I were belting out "Sunrise, Sunset" together a few weeks ago and after we sang, "One season following another, laden with happiness and tears...," I pointed out that this is the summation of the Jewish character in two neat lines. Of course we laughed and laughed.) Anyway, some Chanukkah (yes, I'm spelling it different this time, and it occurs to me that maybe there are so many different spelling of the holiday because Jews are an argumentative, contrarian people) ideas: we will dance the Hora, which my son picked up at his cousin's Bat Mitzvah last weekend, and, oh, I think this is a good one: I want to go Hannukah caroling. That's right! Our neighbors to the south, Ed and his adult son, will be hearing about dreidels fashioned out of clay, and our neighbor to the north, a lively Jamaican woman, will be treated to "Chiri Bim." Because that's the sort of neighbor I am. To me, it's just hilarious, this subverting of Christmas traditions, and there's this added layer of, "Wow, maybe people will see how invasive and arrogant it feels when it seems like the rest of the world assumes you are a religion that you are not." Welcome to the Jewish experience!

Anyway, latkes, salads, Star of David-shaped cookies, perhaps even an attempt at vegan blintzes, something I have not had since I was a teen. Sounds good, right? Hopefully once Chrismakkah is over, I'll be able to post more vegan feminist-y screeds. For now, though, the bed is beckoning me.

Shalom, everyone.

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