Monday, December 11, 2006

Pretend Holiday

"Hanukkah is a minor holiday," proclaimed Mark, my colleague at work.

Mark is Jewish. I, of course, am a Gentile. Especially my hands, since I use premium hand lotion.

"It's not a holiday where you have change your behavior," he continued. "You don't have to fast, refrain from working or anything. Hanukkah has been 'elevated' to the level of a major shopping holiday, like Christmas."

"Shopping, of course, being the operative word," I finished for him. "It's the time when we can all give each other Pieces of designer Earthenware."

He nodded, "It's all crass commercialization! The true meaning of the holidays has been lost."

Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, these holidays have been elevated to this frenzied level by the retailers. It won't be long before they have a menorah with 14 branches because we need more shopping days.

Even Christmas, now celebrated from Labor Day through the very last after-after-after-holiday markdown sale, has its origins from pagan rituals. Christmas still bears its pagan symbols: the tree, the star, the disco ball ornament.

I mean, Jesus wasn't even born in December, couldn't you tell? He had a tan for hissakes. Jesus would never have a fake-n-bake, that would be lying, a sin! I think we should pass a law that prohibits the people with fake tans from getting married, coz it threatens the sanctity of marriage.

I think that to be a major holiday, there must be sacrifice, there must be bloodshed, lots of it: Thanksgiving, the massacre; Easter, the Mel Gibson version; Valentine's Day, that time when your late boyfriend forgot to get you a gift. Christmas--it's just a pretend-holiday.

"How do you spell Hanukkah," I asked, thinking about how to blog this conversation.

"Most people spell it 'Hanukkah,' I think. Some people spell it like 'Chanukah'," he said. "It's pronounced 'Cha-nu-kah'."

He said the first syllable 'cha' as if he was calling me an 'asshole' behind a cough.

I repeated it after him.

"No, no, no, more phlegm. Say it as if you were going to hawk a loogie," he advised.

Ok, everyone, here it goes:

"Hhhcchhhappy Hhhcchanukkah, and a very merry Hhhcchristmas to you all!"

(and don't forget the true holy day behind the pretend one)

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Other holiday posts:

Baby's First Christmas - Jordan's nephew Justin becomes a mouthpiece for his disgruntled aunt.
Red Envelopes - Learn the ancient Chinese tradition of gift-giving for the holidays.

Appetite - In my first Christmas nativity pageant, I played a cow when I should've been Mary.
Brokeback Mountain - Hey since there is a picture of Jake, you might as well read about that gay movie he was in.

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