I was "that" kid on the bus - you know, the one who said to the sweet, little old lady that complimented my 'new dolly from Santa,' "There IS no Santa Claus, we're Jewish, I got this dolly for Chanukah, which is 8 days, so I get a present a day!" (to the which, she would blush, and turn the other way).
This continued into my adolescent years, having survived the earlier years of a Yeshiva-like day school, that my parents pulled me out of at the end of 3rd grade (and promptly sent me to see a child-psychologist, to deal with the verbal abuse from the Rabbi's, and my own social-awkwardness, but that's another blog entry for another day...). In High School, I was the kid who stormed the Principal's office demanding that EVERY religion be represented in the office decorations or NONE AT ALL. (I was a little miffed that they had a Christmas tree displayed prominantly in the window of the school office).
This continued into my adult-hood, as I'm that obnoxious little bugger that responds to all of the "Merry Christmas's" with "Happy Chanukah!" I figure - if you are going to assume that I celebrate Christmas, I will assume that you celebrate Chanukah with me.
Usually, my charming smile lets them know that I am lovingly messing with them. Sometimes, however, it really confuses people. Mostly in places that aren't NY. When I was on the road with the Flaming Idiots, and we'd go to bizarre, unheard of sections of the hinterlands, I got REALLY Funny looks, the kind that made me think that they really did believe that there is nothing BUT Christmas out there in this wide, wide, vast, multi-cultured world.
So when I heard that Target was changing their signs to say "Happy Holidays," Instead of "Merry Christmas," it just made my heart smile with glee - it made me feel as if someone was paying attention. If perhaps, one of the charming folks that I shared my "Happy Chanukah" with was listening, and they told their cousin Sally that there was this girl they met in Oskaloosa, Iowa who wished me a "Happy Chanukah," and did you know, she was real-nice-like. It made me feel a little more able to tolerate that damn Drummer Boy song in the deli on the corner, because hey! Target, a major monolopy of suburban capitalism, was becoming a little more "inclusive."
And then I came across this: American Fmaily Association boycotts Target They want to BOYCOTT Target for NOT saying "Merry Christmas."
These people just get under my skin.
I just don't get it anymore. Isn't the whole message of Jesus to be loving and kind to all? And not be exclusive? Wasn't that the whole point of Christianity to begin with? It has turned ugly, in so many ways.
Now there are TONS of normal, goodhearted Christians out there, of course, but I'm pointing my finger at these wack-jobs.
I've spent the majority of my life trying to be inclusive of everyone, and will continue to do so.