Sunlit Water

December 25, 2007

Feliz Navidad

Filed under: Culture,Personal — by teofilo @ 1:36 am

AWB is not a fan of Christmas.  I’ve gone back and forth on the subject myself; as a kid I was constantly frustrated by the Christian hegemony implied by the omnipresence of Christmas, but recently I’ve decided that since Christmas was only barely Christian to begin with and is now primarily a celebration of secular consumerism it’s not really much of a threat and there’s no problem with enjoying it as it is.  When I was growing up we would celebrate it to some extent, but always by visiting my dad’s family, which is culturally Christian but not at all religious and quite happy to go along with our desire to take the Christ out of Christmas.

What I’ve realized this year, and several people I’ve discussed this with have agreed, is that the Christmas season is actually a lot more fun if you don’t really celebrate Christmas than if you do.  Christians are always so stressed out by all the obligations they have, and throughout the month of December I hear them complain that they haven’t gotten all their shopping done and they need to put up their lights and they hope they can find a nice enough tree and so on and so forth.  It’s really a lot of work and stress, and for a lot of people it seems to totally overwhelm the nice feelings of peace and togetherness that seem to really be the point of the holiday.  For those of us who don’t have any of those obligations, however, there’s no stress at all and we can just sit back and enjoy all the pretty lights and nice cookies and days off of work.  It’s very nice, and seems to be one reason that quite a lot of Jews, including me, actually quite like Christmas as it is celebrated in America today.

On that note, I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, regardless of whether or how they celebrate it.  In my opinion, at least, it really is the most wonderful time of the year.



  1. You know what sucks about stringing lights? Living in a subdivision where there is an agreed on theme for how you will string your lights. As in, everyone must have an identically lit deciduous tree at the curbside. For weeks I was all anxious and resentful of the obligatory lighting scheme — until it occurred to me that they can’t, like, throw me out of the subdivision for refusing to string lights.

    Comment by Di Kotimy — December 26, 2007 @ 11:46 am |Reply

  2. Just tell them you’re Jewish.

    Comment by teofilo — December 26, 2007 @ 12:37 pm |Reply

  3. Chag sameach, Teo. See you in DC!

    Comment by mrh — December 26, 2007 @ 7:46 pm |Reply

  4. Likewise, mrh.

    Comment by teofilo — December 26, 2007 @ 8:17 pm |Reply

  5. The tree is a pagan custom and shopping is….All-American? For a Christian celebration, they could just go to church and maybe have a lovely birthday party for the Baby Jesus. The rest is adiaphora/common culture.

    Comment by Carrie K — December 26, 2007 @ 9:42 pm |Reply

  6. You put us in your blogroll, Teo. You’re the bestest.

    Comment by ari — December 27, 2007 @ 6:56 pm |Reply

  7. I figured you deserved to have some of my immense readership sent in your direction.

    Comment by teofilo — December 27, 2007 @ 9:55 pm |Reply


    Comment by TEO'S READERSHIP — December 28, 2007 @ 2:51 pm |Reply

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