If Christmas is a secular holiday for you, that is rock on with your secular selves, and please (please) don’t feel obligated to believe in Christ on my account. This is not sarcasm, I genuinely hope you have a merry, non-religious Christmas. , is about Christianity, about things I don’t believe in, and about things I don’t feel comfortable participating in as a Jew. I would never tell you that you can’t view Christmas as a secular holiday, the same way I would never tell a devout Christian that they couldn’t view it as a religious holiday, the same way I would never tell a non-Jew that they had to view, for example, Rosh Hashana as a holy day and celebrate it with me regardless of their own feelings or lack thereof about their own faith/traditions/desires.Trim your tree and wrap your gifts and listen to that song about Mommy kissing Santa to your heart’s content, go over the hill and through the wood’s to grandmother’s house until the goddamn cows come home, get all up in that Christmas spirit. That’s not to say that this is true of all Jews, or of all people who subscribe to a faith that doesn’t do Christmas—it’s not! The thing is, I most often encounter this argument from atheists who are planning on celebrating Christmas, and honestly, I kind of get it.Others were people who were raised with Christmas, but not necessarily with any church; still others were people who believed in the tenants of Christianity in theory but not in practice; were—uh, I believe the term is “Christmas and Easter” Christians? Despite my Judaism, I am fully capable of comprehending the world around me even when said world is lathed in red and green, and yeah, dude, I see where you’re coming from with this.But the thing is, come Christmas, they’ve all got one thing in common, and that thing is this: They all think they know more about why I don’t celebrate Christmas than I do. In my view, there are three variations on the theme of Being An Asshole To People You Know Who Don’t Celebrate Christmas. In the United States, where I live and where church and state are theoretically very separate, Christmas is a federal holiday.Yeah, probably, just like most non-Jews would probably be pretty fucking lost in a Kol Nidre service, because other people’s religious ceremonies are usually pretty incomprehensible to someone who has never experienced one. Woe is you, your life is so terrible, how tragic you are with your lack of Christmas! My favorite holiday is now and will always be Passover, and this is because of the fun my family and I have celebrating it every year.Do I need you to take me by the hand and guide me slowly through the magical Christmas wonderland, stopping to identify the mistletoe and explain what a wreath is? I am a fully grown adult human who has lived through twenty-two Christmas seasons—I’m really good, guys. I’ve got fond childhood memories of running around my grandparent’s house during Seder, muffling my laughter as I tried to find the afikomen before my cousins via stealth.
That it would be weird and wrong and unfair to insist that people who have not lived my life feel the way I do about a given holiday. They’re waiting in line for Chinese food and going to see a movie.See, the thing is, I am a Jew who hates Christmas, and not for any of the reasons you are thinking, either. Is because every year, WITHOUT FAIL, someone I had previously thought to be a rational, understanding, and worthwhile human being proves themselves be a GIGANTIC ASSHOLE because of Christmas.I do not hate Christmas because I am bitter that people are celebrating a holiday I do not celebrate; nor do I hate Christmas because the good cheer of others brings me to rage. And before you go, “Oh, I bet you mean those intense right-wing conservative Christians, I’m not one of those people, I can skip this post,” lemme stop you, because no, I don’t.If it’s secular for you, it’s secular for you—that’s it, no argument, no debate, no discussion.But if you need someone : a few years ago, I was dating this guy whose family celebrated Christmas, and I spent Christmas with them (this is one of the awesome things about being Jewish and dating gentiles: you can make your significant other do Thanksgiving with your family in exchange for your doing Christmas with theirs, because family does not care where you are on Christmas unless it makes them late for their movie).I am not in any way under the impression that everybody who celebrates Christmas is doing so to exalt the birth of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because to think that I would have to be willfully missing about half of what goes on around this holiday.I’m not even of the impression that Christmas has always and forever throughout all of history been a day about Christ, because let’s be real, history is very clear on the fact that this celebration belonged to the pagans first.You should really start celebrating Passover, because Passover is the best holiday ever, and if you disagree, you’re wrong.” Because I know, the way so many people who love Christmas seem not to know, that the reason I love Passover is unique to my personal experience of Passover.That my warm, fuzzy Passover feelings are tied up with my warm, fuzzy Passover memories.Derek is spurred to prevent Danny from going down the same path he did.The film is framed as starting near the end, with Danny writing a paper about the events that led to Derek being sent to prison.