'Tis the season for all sorts of wonderment. Due to my potential jury duty (which so far hasn't actually occurred, yay), we stayed in the DC area this year and instead brought my parents here. This means that we've gotten to experience the holidays in DC for the first time. It's been a lot of fun to actually put up the tree and lights and actually enjoy them for Christmas. Santa will be coming down our chimney (which, come to think of it, may mean that we shouldn't start a fire in the fireplace tonight). We almost went to Michigan, which is currently overrun with bad weather, so this turned out to be great foresight on our part, even if Xan won't quite have a white Christmas. And we're having some good friends over for Christmas dinner whose families are otherwise far away (in Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and Michigan again), which may be accompanied by Stinkylulu's holiday soundtrack which he sent. (Should I play the "Festive" CD, or the "Filthy" one? Hm.)
For me, one of the funnier stories has to come from a couple weeks ago, when I had a bit of deja vu. Oma and Opa were due to arrive in a couple days and I was started to indicate to Xan that they would be arriving. "Are you excited that Oma and Opa are coming for Christmas?" I asked in the car.
He thought for a moment. "No," he said.
I was a little taken aback. "Really? Why not?"
"I don't want Oma and Opa to come for Christmas," he said with finality. "I want Ruben and Gabriel and Liam to come for Christmas." These are three of his best friends at school, part of what I call The Gang. The first two are twins, the second is the sweetest kid ever.
All three, however, also happen to be Jewish. "Well, Xan, that's sweet, but they don't celebrate Christmas?"
"Why not?" he asked.
"Because they celebrate Channukah." I knew he knew about that, because a parent had done a special thing at school about Channukah and he was therefore well-versed on dreidels and menorahs.
"Why do we have to celebrate Christmas? Why can't we celebrate Channukah?" he asked.
And suddenly, I was taken back about thirty years to when I started school myself, only to discover that all of my friends were Jewish as well. Growing up on Long Island, where everyone is either Roman Catholic or Jewish, I was a bit of the outcast as the Hispanic Protestant.
We have since gotten totally into Oma, Opa and Christmas (with all the songs, as you can see below, and the going to church), so we're dedinitely in the swing of things. And man, Santa is a great bribe to get a wayward child in line. What will I do tomorrow?
Merry Christmas, everyone!