Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, that's the only non-denominational holiday song I know, but either way, Christmas is fast approaching. If you have any Jewish friends, you may be like, what do Jewish people do on Christmas, anyway? But you can't really ask that, because it's weird. So here is an inside look at what your Jewish, or Muslim, or Buddhist, or Hindu or anything else friends do on Christmas, because you know you're curious.
1. Eat Chinese food.
Not a stereotype! A reality! Why? Because Chinese restaurants are always open on Christmas. Also, it's like wearing lingerie on a vacation with your husband: you're doing it because it's a stereotype but then the stereotype is enjoyable in and of itself. (Oh by the way, if people have stopped doing that in recent years, someone write in and tell me, because I haven't taken a vacation with my husband since my first pregnancy.)
2. Look at Christmas lights.
They are really pretty and our kids don't understand why we don't have any. Sometimes, we put up blue and white or multicolored "holiday lights," but our Eastern European ancestors mock us from their graves and we stop.
3. Think about how we aren't in debt from Christmas present shopping.
Instead, we are in debt from other things, like preschool payments, and our mortgage, and our renovated kitchen, and maybe even our gambling addiction. But not Christmas shopping!
4. Explain to our kids that Santa doesn't come to our house, but at Passover, Elijah the Prophet comes.
No, he doesn't bring gifts. No, you're not going to celebrate Christmas when you grow up. Well, it doesn't work that way. I mean, you can if you want. I don't know. Don't tell Grandma I said that. Either Grandma.
5. Bemoan daycare and school being closed.
The only better thing than eating Chinese food would be eating Chinese food without kids along. Except how much they love the fortune cookies.
6. Say things like, "you know, next year, we should really travel on Christmas."
Then look up prices and figure you should just stay home and go out for Chinese.
7. Minimize how cool Santa is while being sure not to say that he's fake.
You don't need your kid to be the one to tell all the kids at school that Santa is someone's dad. But then again, it would be way easier on you if they knew the truth. Fine balance. Try: "If people believe in Santa, he goes to their house. But you know.... HEY DID YOU SEE THIS LEFTOVER CHOCOLATE CHANUKAH GELT?"
8. Watch Christmas-themed reruns and movies.
I particularly like the ones where it's ambiguous whether Santa actually came and all the adults are hushed and breathless wondering if he's real. Because, what am I, made of stone? Tear-jerking, I tell you.
9. Remember when we were young and single and went to big Christmas Eve events like the Matzah Ball.
And then we got wasted because we had no kids. And we hooked up with that guy who worked at Goldman Sachs. Gotta do that again sometime. I mean the party! Jeez. Husbands are so sensitive.
10. Get psyched for New Years.
We're back in the game with that one! Party with the best of them. Weird how you guys still all have your trees up still. Another thing we just don't get. Our menorah goes back in the cabinet the day Chanuka ends. Okay, it's not 200 pounds and it didn't take us five days to set up and decorate. Good point.
Happy Holidays, Whatever They May Be!