Thank you to everyone for the well wishes, kindness and support over the past few weeks. It has been a rough ride, but it is touching that people who have never met can share such personal experiences.
Although I am not one to celebrate holidays, hubby insists on making a big deal out of Christmas so I make an effort to be festive. We got a huge tree and had a good time decorating it and surrounding it with gifts. My parents celebrated Christmas when my sister and I were kids. They viewed it as an American, not Christian, tradition and were disappointed when my sister and I came of age and thought it was foolish to celebrate a holiday that was not ours. For years, I avoided the stress of the December retail stupor and didn't feel like I was missing anything.
Now I am married and Christmas is back in my world with all the aggravation and enjoyment that comes with it. My trip to Target last week for a last-minute gift was a reminder that the missing link in evolution is out there (it walks among us and it only takes a $50 DVD player to reveal its existence). We bought gifts for everyone who came over to our house for Christmas dinner and it was fun wrapping them. Even the religious Muslims in the family agreed that everyone should celebrate Christmas and gleefully retrieved their gifts from under the tree.
Notwithstanding this manufactured hoohah non-issue over Happy Holidays, Christmas is a secular tradition in America that everyone should use as an excuse to let everyone in their lives know just how important and special they are. You see, I find it extremely difficult to believe that Jesus would have wanted people to make such a fuss about his birthday. For as much as I think Jehovah's Witnesses are a bit nutty for refusing to celebrate birthdays, their refusal to turn Jesus' birthday into a retailers bonanza seems most consistent with the spirit of Jesus' life and the essence of Christianity.
Thus, I am taking it upon myself to redefine Christmas in America. It has been a joke for years between our family and a Jewish family with whom we are close that only in America do a Jewish family and Muslim family exchange Christmas gifts. This year, they gave us framed pictures of my mother they took at my wedding. They come over to check on my father to make sure he is doing okay. We all got together on our mutual day off and shared each other's company. There is something to be said for that. Merry Christmas.