Christmas Is Nothing New When You're A Jew
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Christmas Is Nothing New When You're A Jew

The holidays, perhaps, mean a little bit more.

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Christmas Is Nothing New When You're A Jew
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"We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas, We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

Flipping through Spotify and the various radio stations, I fumble past this and other festive songs numerous times. Red and green illuminate the streets and Christmas cheer is shoved down America's throat and we, Jews (and those who practice other religions or no religion at all) are forced to swallow it down as it if is a large pill without water yet and yet with a jolly smile glued on our face.

As a Jew, I always look forward to the holiday season but not for the reason you might initially assume. Sure it's nice to receive gifts but what I enjoy more is the simple yet complex act of giving to those I care about. It warms my heart to be able to serve others and pic out gifts especially for the special people in my life. I particularly enjoy making homemade gifts as I feel those are often the most treasured of presents.

I am open to all religions and ways of life but feel like the holiday of Christmas and its true meaning have been lost over the years. What was initially the birth of Christ, has become a materialized celebration that has a rather narrow focus on gift giving.

I understand it's fun to give and receive gifts, but I feel like the holidays are supposed to be centered on something more; on friends and family and spirituality. I'm not an overly religious person, but I went to Hebrew School, was in a Jewish Youth Group, and attended Jewish sleepaway camp.

Judaism, to me, has always been a feeling rather than something tangible you can reach with an outstretched hand. To me, being Jewish means that I am a part of something bigger than myself; my beliefs are no greater or lesser than that of any other individual and it is important to remember that each religion has its own traditions that are to be treasured instead of scorned at.

Religion, in my mind, is something that distinguishes yet connects us in a rather unique and beautiful way. Whether you go to church every Sunday or light candles on Kwanzaa, I believe that your traditions are beautiful. But when Thanksgiving rolls around and Christmas music blasts on the radio, don't expect me to be as Jolly as Old Saint Nick.

Holidays, to me, mean a little bit more and I'm sorry if I'm not overjoyed when the Christmas season waltzes our way. I love and support all people regardless of their beliefs, but what I do not appreciate is when holidays are taken out of context and are assumed to be celebrated by all.

So as I finish my holiday shopping and you with me a Merry Christmas while trying to shove your religion down my throat, I'll smile at you but think to myself as I leave that store, that I am not buying it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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