As the Christmas season approaches -- which I believe started sometime before Halloween -- and the wintry smells of cinnamon and apple pie mix with the aroma of nervous sweat and exhaust fumes of the Fed Ex delivery truck, I find myself thinking happily about the holiday -- which as a Jew I've celebrated for 20 years -- and can't help but think back to the thoughtful man who started it all.
Many times in hardship and in comfort I've thought to myself what was it like to walk in his shoes, Jesus' actual shoes (although I abhor Birkenstocks) and experience his pains and pleasures? How would I act in his stead? Would I have been able to achieve half of what he did in his short lifetime? And more importantly, how best to look to him for guidance in these final holiday weeks?
Using his energy, his passion and his desire to bring so much goodness to the Earth, I look to him now when I need him most to answer my burning questions:
How much would Jesus tip his doormen?
I've wrestled with this one for years. Because there are three shifts and two additional weekend guys in my Manhattan building. Jesus had a big support staff as well. I know he would want to recognize everyone. But I'm thinking at Chanukah he may have gone White Elephant.
Would Jesus pay his NSF bank fees?
He had a problem with banking in general, certainly with fees charged for lending money. I think I'm pretty good declining these at Christmas and using him as a legal precedent.
Would Jesus downgrade his Netflix from full streaming and rentals to just streaming?
Even Jesus might want to get the more current films, because Netflix doesn't stream all the current hits. On the other hand, Jesus might have realized physical media in general is going away, just based on what happened to him. So streaming is the future.
Would Jesus say no to an iPhone?
I think Jesus might want the Galaxy III.
Would Jesus eat the Christmas cake and still say it was good?
Jesus' passion for honesty and unrivaled truthfulness in the face of ever-increasing hardship is legendary. But even he might have spared his Aunt Miriam's feelings and say the cake wasn't bad.
Would Jesus give gift cards?
Jesus, as best I can tell, believed that true human connection and a deep understanding of spirit made each friendship a unique experience to cherish. On the other hand that doesn't mean he had time to shop individually for everyone. He knew A LOT of people. If he could've gotten gift cards at the Nazarene Gym or Bethlehem Bakery, certainly a few at the City on the Hill Apothecary -- I'm thinking he would have grabbed some. I'm going with cards.
Would Jesus throw a Christmas Party and get drunk?
Jesus would definitely celebrate. But he would do so responsibly.
Would Jesus look around and say: "You know, my birthday was actually in October, and what's with harvesting all the trees?"
Has anyone noticed that Pine trees don't grow in the Middle East? Let's not open this can of worms.
Would Jesus use a mistletoe?
More importantly would he kiss only men? Or women? Or both? An excellent question as Jesus believed in tearing down ancient rigid laws that separated people, gender and classes and stifled purity of spirit. That being said, he'd probably just kiss men.
Would Jesus have a personal trainer or a nutritionist?
He was so thin. There are rumors Jesus taught a yoga class. The big question is would he have his own studio and charge one monthly fee? Or charge for classes individually?
Would Jesus keep jogging through the holidays, or just give up and wait?
Many have wrestled with this one. The season brings challenges for expanding the waistline that few mortals can resist. The run from Thanksgiving to Christmas is pretty much a figure destroyer. On the other hand, Jesus kept active. I think Jesus would split the difference and make sure he kept a daily walk. But most likely it would be on a treadmill.
I was praying for divine guidance when I asked these questions and amazingly, God answered me. He told me I should stop eating green peppers. At least someone's listening.