Christmas Rant

NNTP-Posting-Host: panix.com

In) writes:

>Debra Fran Baker (dfbaker@panix.com) wrote:

>: >"I think it's too bad that there seems to be a lot of pressure to
>: >celebrate the Christmas holiday in a *specific* way -- family, peace,
>: >gift-giving -- because the solstice has been a traditional time for
>: >celebrating in so many cultures in so many ways."

>: "But not every culture has such a celebration. For example, Chanukah is
>: only coincidentally in December and around the solistice. It could have
>: happened any time of year - it celebrates a military victory which could
>: have happened a month earlier or a month later.

>"Yet, through interactions of different cultures, celebrations adapt
>and change. People use aspects of their culture to create new versions
>of holidays, to take part of themselves and add it into the holiday
>mix... Kwanzaa is the most blatant example."

"This is not necessarily a good thing. Chanukah is a lovely little holiday, but it's a minor one, and so unimportant that there are hardly any laws about it. Because of its proximity to Christmas, people give it more import than it has, and ignore the truly important ones that come at other times of year - such as Shavuot."

>: "Japan, so far as I know, has not had a solistice type festival. It's
>: adopted the Western Christmas trappings, but that's clearly not
>: tradtitional for them. I find it rather sad they've done this, but it's
>: their choice."

>"Actually, it can be kind of exciting, as Asian interpretations of
>Christmas presents and traditions gives a whole new spin on things."

"Well, yes - if they take from your culture. On the other hand, no Jew would be excited if non-Jews celebrated ours."

>: >"While dealing with all the Christmas madness that drives you nuts,
>: >maybe you can find some alternative ways of celebrating that are
>: >meaninful, and fun, for you?"

>: "Why should I celebrate a holiday that's not mine in any way?

>"Because holidays are fun, and why not have more of them?"

"Because I have my own, and they are enough for me? I just finished my holiday season a couple of months ago."

> Why should
>: it be forced upon me?

>"Can you stop it from happening? If not, then how do you deal with it?
>I was trying to offer helpful suggestions. If you don't choose to take
>them that way, that's certainly your business. Find a way to enjoy
>yourself, or complain and be miserable. I find it rather sad that you've
>done this, but it's your choice."

"I don't get a choice. I get this stuff foisted upn me whether I like it or not. Would you force me to eat ham? Work on my Sabbath? Of course not - but I'm forced to take part in your holiday, and that is equally forbidden."

> As it happens, this year Chanukah and Christmas
>: coincide, so on that convenient day I'm going to have my in-laws over for
>: latkes. Next year, I'll do something else - attend a Jewish day of
>: learning or go to a movie."

>"That sounds fine, if that's the