December 25, 2001

Merry Chri---I mean Happy Holidays, Mr. Goldstein! It's a cold, sunny Christmas day here in New Jersey, and when I finish this I'll be heading up north to take Rachel out for some Chinese food and a movie. Just to cover the traditional American Jewish bases, my parents are down in Atlantic City right now playing the nickel slots and 2-4 Hold `Em, earning some comped buffet coupons. I love how these little traditions have been carved out in the shadows of the dominant Christmas traditions, finding the few open public spaces and claiming them as our own. Though I personally love the Christmas season (all of the festivities with none of the family get-togethers!), I also love this chance to create a separate cultural identity, especially one that involves sesame chicken.

Interestingly enough, I'm currently working at a company owned and run by observant Jews (not only was the office closed on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana, it was also closed for four days for Sukkot). It might have been the least attention I've seen paid to Chanukah in an office I've worked in, even in offices where I was the only Jewish employee. This is probably the difference between a company that understands the relative importance of Chanukah and one that sees it as kind of a Jewish Christmas.

Well, I can go on like this for a while, but others have done so already, and I don't want to keep Rachel waiting. Merry Christmas, everybody!!!
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