I’m what some people refer to as Jewish.
I supposedly descend from a group of runaways that wandered through the desert, following a guy who briefly ditched them for a relaxing mountaintop vacation.
The legacy of my past has caused me to have a Bar Mitzvah, to grow up not eating pork (images of my mother’s pained face still flash before me when I see bacon), and to go to Chabad for free Chinese food on Tuesdays.
It has also kept from me the most American of traditions: the ugly Christmas sweater. I love Christmas. It’s beautiful. I love the lights, and the snow, and the way that it makes capitalism and spirituality friends. But, I’ve always seen it from the outside. I’ve heard “Happy Holidays,” felt uncomfortable mixing red and green clothes (under any circumstances), and only found surprises under trees when I stepped on my dog’s carefully hidden shit in the backyard.
So, I don’t even want to say that I hate ugly Christmas sweater parties. They’re cool (I assume). They’re fun (I assume). I even think that they’re fairly poignant—the partygoers all don ugly sweaters to humble themselves on a holy day. The sweaters are like ostentatious hairshirts.
But, I do hate that I’ve never had a Christmas sweater, of any level of attractiveness. I hate that the closest I’ve come to such a sweater has been in the basement of Urban Outfitters. I love the holidays, and I hate anything that makes them less inclusive than they can possibly be.
I don’t understand why we all hang out all year, but do our own things for the month of December. Why can’t we just light the Chanukkiah with the Kinara? Or fill stockings with latkes? Or do whatever we want to do, regardless of what God we’re fans of (or totally not fans of)?
So, knit sweaters for everyone, my sequel-worshipping friends. Invite everyone to your celebrations. In the words of the Lord, whichever one that may be: “Tis the season to be jolly.”