I’m not anti-Christmas. I’m really, really not. But tonight, since I’m staying with my roommate until I fly home tomorrow, I really wanted to light real Channukah candles, spin dreidels, fry up some latkes- the whole shebang. But the grocery stores and the dollar stores didn’t have Channukah candles so I settled for tacky-looking birthday ones. And no one had dreidels, or gelt- or any type of chocolate coin-, and there wasn’t even any potato pancake mix.
And its the heart of my holiday tonight, four down, four to go, but whenever I walk outside all I see are Santas and Jesuses and reindeer and trees. Whenever I walk outside all I hear are carols and “merry christmas”es. Heck, I can’t even listen to Channukah songs on YouTube without having to sit through a Christmas commercial first.
And you know what? It kind of hurts. It feels like you’re that kid on the playground who no one will talk to or play with. It feels like you were waiting on a friend who never showed up. It feels like not existing, not being valued. I mean, when I was trying to find something, anything, that was Channukah and kept coming up blank, I was honest to God crying. Because its so lonely to not be acknowledged.
And people, well-meaning, good people, tell me to celebrate Christmas with them. To set up a tree and hang the ornaments and set a stocking up on the mantle and wear a fluffy sweater with snowflakes on it. But that feels like selling out. It feels fake. It feels dirty to me, to toss aside my culture and my religion and my heritage just so that I can feel like I exist. I can’t do it, and I won’t. I don’t hate people for celebrating their holiday, I don’t hate Christmas or Christianity or any deviation of it.
I just hate feeling so empty.