Happy Hannukah, first of all.
No, Hanukkah is not a big important holiday, but we Yids kinda cling to it like tinsel to pantyhose. It is our only refuge from the incessant, catchy drone of Feliz Navidad and the misguided rocker attempts to make "The Little Drummer Boy" sound gritty. I say misguided because there is nothing punk rock about Christmas.
Which is fine, I totally dig the way people give to charity, think about the interests and desires of their loved ones, have parties to warm up the darkest time of year...I love going to people's houses who celebrate the holiday and helping them to trim the tree, make cookies, sip mulled wine. It is a warm, warm part of the year.
I have even sung in Christmas choirs. In Cambridge, I sang Haydn's Nelson Mass with the Trinity College Choral society. Maotzur Yeshuati never stuck in my head like a solid crescendo of Kyrie Elieson, Ineccelsis deo...
Being Jewish means my shopping list is light. So no mall swarms and drained bank accounts.
And I know, gentile readers, that you were probably told that we get one gift each of the eight days of Hanukkah. Well that is simply not true. In Jewish homes, we dutifully light our menoras (or "chanukkiahs" for the pedantics in the room), fry up our latkes, spin the dreidle, and go home to decorate gift baskets or write cards for our non-Jewish friends.
At a certain age, you kind of stop expecting presents. These days I ask my mom for stuff like: "hey, remember that dentist bill I racked up in October? Imagine if Santa brought Doctor D. a nice cheque this year." And so on.
For this year I need a new TV. After leaving it 20 months in my posession, my ex suddenly decided to reclaim his set, citing sentimental attachment to the 32-inch idiot box. I did not have a whole lot of Xmas cheer last night after giving it back. By the way, I licked the remote. rutatumtum. Me and my tongue.