It is the holiday season, and as a Jew in a predominantly Christian neighborhood, it can be a little lonely. My holiday isn’t represented in the local retail stores, at the schools, or, well, pretty much anywhere that I didn’t personally provide the materials for it to be represented. Our house is the dark, mean looking one without lights or a tree.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate the quiet(er) beauty of the holiday I celebrate in December, or that the stores should change their merchandise to suit the pleasure of a handful of customers. It’s just a little different looking at all this community festiveness as an outsider.
That said, I’m actually kind of glad I don’t have to deal with all of that. I mean, I really do enjoy looking at other people’s Christmas trees. I could spend hours looking at all the ornaments and smelling the pine. But the thought of having that in my house? I know for an absolute fact that I would be the person who keeps their tree up until sometime in April because I just don’t have the wherewithal to take it all down.
I’m nothing short of awed with people who manage to transform their homes into decorated showcases all for the celebration of one day. I can’t keep the stuff on my shelves visible under layers of dust and papers that have somehow landed on top. There is no way I could carefully pack all that away and replace it with a cute little mouse village that lights up every day.
Likewise, I do like driving around and looking at the lights people put up, and marvel that the ability to do these things is within the grasp of people I know. Regular, ordinary, every day people manage to put up a string of lights in a straight line along their garage. It’s a holiday miracle! In my house, we’re lucky to get the gutters cleaned out every few years or so. There’s no way we could decorate them or make them twinkle.
I do buy presents for my kids, at least eight apiece, one for each night, thought with grandma and aunts, etc., it is usually more than that. I don’t have a tree to put them under, so I usually store them in my office until a week before, then shove them in a corner of the living room. It is not quite as festive looking as under the tree, but I can promise you that my kids like getting stuff whether or not pine sap has dripped on it. Of course, if I personally have wrapped the presents, they just look like wadded up balls of wrapping paper with some tape stuck randomly all over them, making the corner look like a trash pile, but hey – the kids still get gifts, and it’s all about the stuff, right?
No. No, it isn’t. Whether you are celebrating the birth of Christ, the miracle of the oil lamp after a Maccabee victory, Festivus, another holiday, or simply enjoying that special holiday feeling you get when the weather is cooler and everything is twinkly, we all have our own kind of lights to light. We all get lit one way or another. It is all about a shared experience with family and friends.
That experience I’m talking about?
That would be egg nog.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was a number one Amazon Hot New Release in the Fall of 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here.