Hannukah starts early this year (November 29th), and I'm mad. I shouldn't be. As the date of Hannukah goes by the Jewish calendar, it could land in July on the Christian calendar for all one knows (if it did, I'd be bullshit), and therefore it shouldn't be a big deal that in this year of 2002, it happens to begin on the night after Thanksgiving.
Oh, but does it ever irk me still.
Christians will never be able to comprehend the suckiness of not being Christian during the month of December every year (about thirty-six specific hours of that month in peticular). During Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the world stops, except for hospitals, movie theaters, and Chinatown. If a Jewish person, even a highly secular one, has a sudden desire to go to Wal-Mart and buy some wonderfully tacky pajama pants (there must be some Jews who will show their faces in a discount store lol i'm an asshole), they don't even have the option. And forget about those hot new Earl Jeans, cuz Bloomies is closed on Christmas, too (there, does that sound more typically Hebraic? lol there i go again). Last Christmas I went to the beautiful (and, in 2001, brand-spanking-new) Lowe's Theater on the Boston Common with my friend David (also Jewish); we saw Not Another Teen Movie and had lunch in Chinatown (a far cry from Panda Express, I must say). That done, what was there to do but wander into Back Bay, through the Prudential Mall (deserted except for tourists) and the adjoining Sheraton Hotel? Sigh. I had fun that day, and I know David did, too, but still.
I guess growing up in a secular society has made me forget that Hannukah celebrates the first recorded battle for religious freedom and whatnot. But my mom does make some damn good levivot (Hebrew for latkes). And the whole eight presents thing is a little commercialized, but you'll never hear me complain as I tear the wrapping paper off a shoebox containing yet another grossly overpriced pair of made-in-England leather shoes. Another must-have request I made to my mother was Chance perfume by Chanel. For the other six nights, I just want gift certificates, a few nice sweaters, and Hello Kitty paraphernalia. I also want Douglas to get some nice gifts, too. One year we got him a remote-control car. It scared him. Maybe he can appreciate it now that he's three.
Hannukah may not coincide with Christmas this year, as I always wish it will, but hey - most of my friends give me my holiday gifts at Christmastime, not Hannukah, and most of my friends are Christian, so I'll get to relive the fun all over again come late December. Yay!