Christmas Angst

I am in a bad mood from the day after Halloween (3 weeks before Thanksgiving!) when I walk into Starbucks to hear Feliz Navidad and Eggnog lattes on the menu. Christmas season, which has grown in length over my 30 years, is rife with anxiety for me…

As the only Jew in my class at my WASPy private school growing up, I thought it was totally normal that all kids sang extremely religious songs at Christmas time. I never thought anything of it until my mom made a big stink about her Jewish children singing about “Jesus Christ our savior” in the “holiday” choral concert. She went straight to the principal to demand religious music be avoided since we attended a secular school. Instead, the Norwegian music teacher who I’m pretty sure had never met any Semitic person in his life, added “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel” to the repertoire, but kept the songs about “our Lord, J.C.,” thinking that this evened the playing field. Instead, during rehearsals, my classmates would glare at me when we practiced that stupid, simple Hanukkah song, thrown in among the beautiful, complicated Christmas tunes. And I spent every rehearsal lip-syncing words about Jesus Christ being my savior, so that my God would not strike me dead…

In 3rd grade, after years of being forced to sit on Santa’s lap at school, I finally stood my ground. When it was my turn, I walked to the front of the class, and when Santa patted his lap and asked what I wanted for X-mas, I yelled in his face “I’m Jewish!” and slowly walked bacl to my seat. None of the goyim in the room knew what to do with that…

My absolute favorite think about Christmas is the Magi and creche scene that Loyola University sets up along Sheridan Rd in Chicago every year. The Magi start off very far from the manger scene, and every day move just a little bit closer. I love to think about the person whose job it is to move these Wise Men…

My sophomore year of high school, we were given the assignment to write a horror story. It was around Christmastime. I’ve never understood why parents would want their kids to sit on the lap of a strange old man. In my story a Santa at a mall would become aroused by the little girls on his lap. After becoming obsessed with one in particular, he broke into her home and murdered her with the sharpened tip of a candy cane.

Published by imworriedmytherapisthatesme

I'm a history-PhD-turned-stay-at-home-mom of three. When I'm not microwaving Trader Joe's meals for my kids, breaking up fights and wiping butts, I like to paint and write. To cope with the endless hours I'm spending with my son doing virtual school, I've abandoned my gouache paints for the more portable, less messy tried but true, paper and ink. While he learns to read to 20 floating heads on his screen, I sit on a tiny chair, at a tiny table pretending to be a productive adult.

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