What does Christmas Day mean to me?
Other people, opening presents.
Jewish people, waiting till tomorrow to take back presents they received on Chanukah.
And driving around, looking for a restaurant.
We’ve eaten some bad slices of pizza made by some Middle Eastern guy on Christmas Day. Why didn’t we eat Chinese? The line-ups – they’re terrible! Why didn’t we make a reservation? I don’t know. It’s like somehow, Christmas always catches us by surprise.
“Really? It’s every year on the same day?”
We didn’t actually think that because, you know… we’re not demented. But we definitely acted that way. No planning ahead. No food in the refrigerator. Maybe we thought, “It’s Christmas. The Lord will provide.”
He doesn’t. It’s not like, (DING-DONG) ”Food parcel from the Lord.”
You have to go grocery shopping!
Growing up, I was not entirely immune to the Spirit of Christmas. I sat on Santa’s lap at Eaton’s Department Store, hoping Dr. Jacober, my Hebrew School principal, wouldn’t spot me, shopping for Chanukah presents when Christmas and Chanukah (which moves around the calendar) were close.
“Asoor!’ was the word reverberating in my head. Meaning, “It is forbidden!” Lap-sitting on “Father Christmas” was no minor infraction. If I received a month’s detention for eating an unkosher hamburger at the Carousel Restaurant – and I did – I dared not imagine the penalty for consorting with the symbolic representation of a religion that bumped us permanently into “Second Position.” (See: “How the Jews Lost the Lead.”)
I don’t know if it’s still like this, but when I lived in Canada, there were no newspapers delivered on Christmas Day, which meant a lot to me, especially when I was delivering newspapers. It was like an externally imposed “Sick day.”
The underlying premise of this scheduled reprieve: “You do not work on a holiday.” The idea seemed natural and compassionate. Americans are compassionate too. But, well… people want their newspapers, and somebody has to deliver them on Christmas.
Christmas is Christmas.
But business is business!
On a holiday promoting universal kindness, my mind goes to the line from The Muppets Take Manhattan:
“Pipples is pipples.”
Translation: We are all essentially the same.
Leading to the sappy yet heartfelt conclusion:
Wouldn’t it be great if we all acted that way?
Merry Christmas to everyone.
Even those who don’t celebrate Christmas.
“Pipples is pipples.”
Keep it in mind.