Friday, December 3, 2010

Bah Khag Bug

So, in order to get kicked out of the tribe, I have thus far admitted to not liking matzah balls (though i do redeem myself by making killer ones I refuse to eat) or gefilte fish. I actually loathe these foods. But this may make it permanent.

This is the big one that may just get my Israeli citizenship AND my tribe card revoked (and forget about ever being allowed to use the secret handshake again!).

I hate Khannukah.

I really, truly, madly, deeply do.

The only worthwhile thing about any of it used to be the latkes, donuts and "anything fried" rule. But I'm a fat-girl, and there's only so many sufganiot out there. and better clothes for not-so-fat girls.

This holiday sucks! It sucks in part because it gives non-Jews an excuse to force "holiday" behavior on me, to make assumptions about me and my family, and to think they have all the answers because they're Adam Sandler fans.

You know what? Some of my best friends are Jewish, too!

Worse? I live in the sort of culture where this kind of behavior is endorsed by everything, and I'm a scrooge for thinking that a bunch of sugar-addled children screaming and running around is not amusing, thinking that wearing obnoxious holiday attire to a party I pretty much have to attend is hegemonic silencing, and that having to exchange gifts is not gift giving, it's gift forcing and not pleasant.

I have family members who send out the yearly "newsletter" (in family, here I include close friends). Well, it's nice to catch up, but really? This is just the pre-internet material version of the status update. You want me to be your friend? You want to remind me you love me? Call me. We'll chat. We'll catch up. And then I'll read your status updates. But this cannot be the only communication we have all year.

The saving grace for me, each year, is that I get to do as little of it as possible before I leave the country and watch it happen in another language. Somehow it's less disturbing when I can't understand it.

My hunny's family is just as crazy as the rest of humanity, but at least they don't go Christmahannukwanzaastice nuts. We exchange gifts as soon as we get home from the airport. We keep them to a minimum (except mom who likes to buy gifts throughout our stay, but she does it from love). They have a creche in the fire place, and it's surrounded by god-awful lighting. They light it some nights. Some nights they don't.

Simple. Low stress. No freaking out about who wants what. No going broke. No forcing anyone to do anything. Well, mom makes me have more dinner, but that's not a holiday thing, she just knows food is love. Really? Mom rocks! She's awesome. And I love to escape.

Sadly, I have to get through my holiday first. I have no qualms with lighting candles. But my favorite part as a kid was singing with my family after we lit the candles, and, well, we all grow up. I sing. It's not the same.

So for the record:

Khannukah is a CHILDREN's holiday.
It is not important in the Jewish scheme of things.
It only became a big deal because of Christmas.
Only rich kids get 8 presents.
Middle class kids get 8 "stocking stuffer" type presents and one BIG one.
Poor kids get pocket change, a little chocolate, and in the case of those of us born within a month of the holiday, a birthday present.

SO. Khag means holiday in Hebrew. And I say:

Bah Khag Bug!