Here's my beef with the Christmas season (and Easter, and American Thanksgiving to a point).

Christmas is seen as one of two things. Either it's a celebration of Jesus Christ's birth, even though he wasn't actually born in modern-day December, or it's a celebration of in-your-face capitalism and marketing hype gone seriously awry.

I, however, am neither Christian, nor extremely fond of the pure, unbridled, god-forsaken examples of pure American-style capitalism demonstrated during December.

I am extremely fond of several weeks off of school, if applicable, a day off work or double-time, and Boxing Day sales, but let's put that aside for now.

Normally, I let people do whatever they want and don't mind, but when they get in my face about it, I get annoyed. As such, I tend to spend most of December replying to 'Merry Christmas' with 'Happy Hannukah', ignoring the fact that Hannukah is over by Christmastime, which few people know or care about.

Why do I do this? Sort of as a reminder that there are more things out there than Christian holidays, but (and this is probably no truer than in Abbotsford) that they are often ignored. I'd probably have to fight to get a week of school off for Peshat, or to get 'Winter Holidays' instead of 'Christmas Holidays'.

Of course, the downside is that everyone and their dog end up either assuming I'm Jewish, or asking if I am. I don't mind them asking, because it seems as though everyone asks if I'm Jewish for one reason or another (with the exception of a certain Texan who thinks I'm a Nazi), but damnit people, stop assuming I'm Jewish just because I say 'Happy Hannukah'. Not everyone who says 'Merry Christmas' is Christian, are they? Yet you assume that because I am wishing you a happy non-Christian holiday, that I must logically be a member of whatever religion, cult, sect, not-for-profit organization, team, club, clique, gaggle, sexual orientation, or Linux distribution whose holiday I am wishing you a happy one of.

This doesn't bother me any, of course, but people have a tendancy to make judgements of groups based on individuals, and I don't want people stereotyping all Jews as arrogant, self-righteous, condescending, antisocial jerks, since all the ones I've ever met are really nice people.

So please people, the next time someone says 'Happy Hannukah' to you, and you're not Jewish, don't assume that they are. Likely they are, but it's possible they're just being more open-minded, and when in doubt, ask.

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