A Jew at Christmas Time

It’s Friday night, and I’m home in my pajamas. I have a cold, and it’s literally freezing outside. My friends all have special events planned for the weekend, and for Christmas Day.  So, I won’t have much of an opportunity to get together with them soon.

Christmas always feels lonely to me. Being Jewish means that it’s not something that I celebrated in the past with my family. Hanukkah comes around the same time as Christmas, but that’s about the only similarity there. To be honest, Hanukkah is nowhere near as important to the Jews, as Christmas is to the Christians. It is in fact a rather minor holiday for us.

I’m thinking about how lonely a time Christmas can be, for Christians, as well as for those of us who don’t celebrate the holiday.

Images abound with cheerful looking families, exchanging gifts, while sitting around their beautifully decorated Christmas trees. I kind of feel that sets up an expectation for what the holidays should be, and sets us up because of what it’s not.

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m Jewish, but I’m never invited to friends Christmas celebrations. I must admit that this hurts me. Not because I love large events, or have the Christmas spirit. It’s because I’d think that this is the time of year when people who are alone should be thought of and welcomed into people’s homes.

It’s hard for me to imagine that people with friends and family who have fun, heartwarming Christmas celebrations, have no sense of the loneliness that many of us feel during this time.

So, during this time of year, I tend to find myself in the thick of depression. I’m always glad when January 2nd arrives. This year is no exception.

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