Jews and that 'Other' holiday

Rabbi Joe Blair

December 24 2007


It is December 24th. Just about everywhere is going to close very shortly, and there will be nothing open for the next 24 hours.

Most of my neighbors and the members of my secular community are going to be celebrating a holiday. Some will do so in a secular fashion. A few will do so in a religious fashion. Most will create some mix of the two.

For me, my family, and my religious community, this is an odd day. It is an enforced day off of work for most (not that I hear many complaints on that score!). It is not a holiday. This year, in fact, it is not even close to any Jewish holiday. It is not a meaningful day in any way for us. There is no religious significance, and no cultural significance.

Once you look at the lights on your neighbors houses, there is not much left to do. I, for one, cannot stand the same old fare that appears from year to year on television (I am not much of a TV watcher, anyway), and the radio blasts a mind-numbing wintry mix of badly performed carols, sappy stories, and other pointless things that are just plain annoying.

So, what's a Jew (or any non-Christian) to do?

It turns out that the only places that are reliably open on Christmas day are: (1) Chinese restaurants, and (2) movie theatres. Voila! The Answer!

 I wish my Christian neighbors and friends a happy, meaningful, and beautiful Christmas. I hope that they will be moved and filled with the spirit of their holiday, andf that there will be peace on earth, as they sing. As for me, and my family and friends, we will be enjoying movies and chinese food! :-)

Seasons greetings to all.

Rabbi Joe