Wow, my head is spinning a bit – like a dreidel – not like a Christmas tree ornament, as far as I know they’re not supposed to spin. Christmas tree ornaments shine, sparkle they might twirl a bit if someone rushes by and a sudden gust of air sways them but you do not yank one off the tree, hold it by a fragile end and have a room cheering you as you try to spin it on the floor. I’d venture to say it would break and everyone in the room would be offended that you treated a religious symbol of Christmas in such a disrespectful way! I would agree! Christmas tree ornaments should stay on the Christmas tree where they can speak meaningfully to those who chose them carefully and look forward to the memories they evoke each year as the tree is decorated. Christmas is a holiday that has its own message of profound importance to Christians. I am Jewish and I am offended at the thought of spinning anything Christmasee as if it were a dreidel.
I am profoundly offended by Chrismukkah! For those of you who are not familiar with this term or its significance (as I was until very recently), Chrismukkah is the hybrid celebration of Chanukah and Christmas. I assume it is aimed at interfaith families or anyone who isn’t connected to any particular faith but wants a good celebration nonetheless. Chrismukkah betrays both Judaism and Christianity while it invites everyone in with the sole purpose of partying.
Chanukah bears a powerful message of Jewish identity, unity and creativity while not compromising on Jewish expression because the world outside thinks you should. Chrismukkah offends these Jewish messages. Christmas speaks to a Christian of redemption, salvation and hope with the birth of a Christian saviour. Chrismukkah offends these Christian messages also.
I understand the challenge of political correctness and family celebrations where there are multiple faiths within one family. I urge anyone in these positions to find a way to maintain the integrity of each faith – especially if your intention is to engage your children with their spirituality – teach them the distinctiveness of faith expressions, not the insultingly superficial party side of it.
Interesting, Chrismukkah itself hasn’t been around all that long and it’s already headed the way of commercialization – watch this video and see how a hybrid of offense is used as a marketing bonanza.
I’m not usually so negative about things but with the world the way it is these days, shouldn’t we be thinking of ways to help each other respect another view rather than trash them all?
It is Chanukah right now – celebrate it and enjoy. In a short time, when Dec. 25 rolls round and if you have Christian friends, make sure to wish them a Merry Christmas, forget the Merry Mazel-tovs.