Hanukkah starts Saturday at sundown. We'll light the menorah, give presents, eat a latke or six, and probably some chocolate Hanukkah gelt as well.
Now, don't get me wrong, I am proud to be Jewish. I love my heritage, I love the rituals, I love the food. But at this time of year, I long to throw out a doormat that says "Welcome Ho-Ho-Home" or to deck my halls with a miniature snowy village or my front yard -- no, my rooftop! -- with an illuminated sleigh.
Instead, with a belly full of the first Hanukkah cookies of the year, I share with you my annual tribute to a seasonal yen... and to my understanding that we all have special things we celebrate, and to appreciate and understand our own holidays, as well as others, is a very good thing.
A Jewish Mom's Christmas Poem
I've never had Christmas, it's to my dismay
As I love all the lights, and the trees and the sleigh
I long for the red and the green M&M's
There's a hole in my heart where a caroler stems
I have a bay window, where a tree would look grand
And not one but two fireplaces where St. Nick could stand
I would cook up a dinner, put Thanksgiving to shame,
I would revel in guests, endlessly entertain
Yet my heritage dictates, and beliefs coincide
That memories of Maccabees bring December pride
It's not a big feast, it's a festival just
But celebration and eating are a Hanukkah must
It's not Jewish Christmas, it celebrates light
And a small and strong army that fought with much might
Though I love all the fuss that is Christmas each year
I hold my own holidays steadfast and dear
I do not miss what I never have had
So when others are puzzled, thinking I'm sad
I assure them I'm happy, it does not take a toll
To watch Christmas pass by, while eating egg roll
I'll unpack the menorahs, make a final gift run,
Hanukkah here, will be nothing but fun
But I'll stand at the window on your Christmas Eve
And watch out for Santa, because it's good to believe.