Winter Holiday: Why I Don't Celebrate Jesus
Because he was just another Jew—just like me. Probably a really nice guy, from what I hear. But just another Jew. And I don't have the time to celebrate the birth of every Jew ever born, lovely as that would be in the abstract. And I certainly don't have the time or the money to make every Jew's birth into a national holiday—which, by the way, is exactly what Christmas is. As much as I love time off, I'd be more than happy to work on Christmas if it would mean that I wouldn't have to take VACATION DAYS in order to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur or Passover. I'd trade December 25 for the time off for even ONE of those. None of the Christians I know have to take vacation days to observe their most holy religious days. But the rest of us? You betcha.
At the same time, let me say that I think Christmas is a great, fun holiday, and we always have a wonderful time spending it with our friends. When I talk about it with my children, I talk about how lucky we all are to be able to share our traditions with other people. I don't want a single Christian person to stop celebrating Christmas or to dampen their enthusiasm for the holiday. All I want is for them to stop expecting me to greet it with the same zeal that they do, because I won't. I want Christians to stop making it almost impossible for me and my family to opt out of participating in the holiday, if that's what we choose to do. We're off school, we're off work, all the stores and the restaurants are closed. There's no way we can pretend that it's just another day. And there is no way to ignore the difference between the way the day is treated by the world at large, and the way everyone else's life goes on like usual on our religious holidays.
Yes, I know. I'm Scrooge. But really, seriously, if you weren't Christian ... don't you think you'd probably agree with me?