I can’t remember the last time Christmas and Chanukah fell in the same week. Typically, we get our holiday a wee bit earlier, and so, it’s sort of easy to gloss over Christmas because we are all still basking in the glow of latke, presents, and uhm, more presents.
But this year, Chanukah starts tomorrow and Christmas is on Sunday, and so, Jesus and Harry will collide in a celebration of egg nog and latke.
There’s been lots of talk this week about clue-ing in your child to the reality of Santa, or from Stephanie, whose little guy is at the age where you have to decide if you’re comfortable watching Christmas television specials even though you’re Jewish, to Ciaran’s Santa Protection Program, where she’s told her kids Santa is not real, but has forbidden them from repeating it.
I’ve taken that tack before – I’ve stolen Christmas and already told my son that Santa isn’t real. He’s kept that secret, but now I have the two-year-old to contend with. My approach this time? Don’t ask, don’t tell. If he’s not askin’ about lights, and Santa, and Rudolph, then I’m not telling.
I’ll just play the avoidance game a little while longer. My eldest hasn’t asked about Santa in two years, so I figure the topic won’t come up until they’re old enough to turn the TV onto Frosty themselves.
But this year, with the timing and all, I’m a tad worried. We’re going back to the place of the chocolate fountains in a few days where we’ll be attending a fancy country club Christmas party and where my non-observant father-in-law will be certain to wear a plaid jacket. There will be a big ‘ol tree, and even though half the community are bubbe and zadies, it only takes one goyshe grandpa to ruin my plan. Or the lady in the elevator the other day wishing us a “Merry Christmas!”
Right back ‘atcha.
I know it’s only a matter of time before they start asking again. Or, worse, whining. Until then, I’m going with don’t ask, don’t tell. I think in this case, at least, it’s better left unsaid.