My lush tree lost all its leaves…
This winter will be my first real-winter, in over 20 years. We’ve moved back to PA from Texas, in August, and I desperately await snow on the ground. You never know how much you miss actual seasons, until you spend two-decades without them.
On the weekend-TV front, Netflix remains my go-to for many things, while Amazon-Prime is my de facto replacement for the brick & mortar Blockbuster Video. We cut the cord with cable since moving here, but we watch our favorite shows, first-run, on Sling TV. The only thing we miss is having a DVR, and the Ovation Channel. I broke down and bought a subscription to Shudder. I do not regret it at all! The service is loaded with great horror films, a notch above what I’ve found on the free-services. The only drawback to Shudder is that it has no RESUME, on playbacks.
Spouse insisted on a little holiday tree, and some “Christmas” décor in the house. We’re having Jewmas this year, even if the portmanteau isn’t a true fit–unless you appreciate that each holiday stems from the same type of Rabbinical class-warfare. Christmas and Hanukkah have origin stories wherein conflict is rooted in Jewish life being corrupted by influences of an “outside empire”, with Rabbi’s taking sides, and the Jewish-men inciting change, dying.
The Maccabean revolt that led to the miracle of the temple-oil, began because wealthy Hellenized Judeans made the role of High Priest, something purchasable. Bribing the right Seleucid, meant that you could purchase the highest position in the Rabbinical order, and this didn’t sit well with the rural Judeans. There was blood, revolt, and eventual defeat, thanks in part to the Seleucids getting help from those Rabbi’s that benefitted most from the status-quo.
Flash forward to the era of Jesus. For us, he was a prophet (Rabbi?) that saw the Romanization of the Pharisees (Rabbinical-class), as a corruption of the Jewish faith. His teachings led people away from the Rabbi, and toward a personal-relationship, with the man upstairs. Naturally, this made some enemies. He was crucified when those Rabbi’s in power, felt he was a threat. A threat to them, was a threat to Rome, as they used the Pharisees, to keep those pesky Jewish people, in line. Christmas is about Jesus’ birth–the irony of his story being that those very same Romans applied their pagan beliefs (deification, virgin-birth, resurrection) to his life story, after becoming followers of his philosophy.
Yup, two very different holidays, each connected to Rabbinical-Shenanigans.
Christmas is more pagan in celebration, at least here in the United States. There’s the “burning tree”, the “mistletoe”, the “well-dressed papa winter delivering gifts”. Gift-giving has nothing to do with the wise-men, even we Jewish know never to invite the Wisemann’s, they bring bad gifts (hat tip to Cathy Ladman).
I can do Jewmas, because as a Slav (first-gen Polish-American, both sides of the family), I love me some Santa, I dig decorated trees, and I’m always up for making out with my spouse under pretty much anything, mistle or toe-ey. Just no nativity scenes (I’ve done this, being nice – even had a cool-ass middle-eastern style, historically accurate, Mediterranean nativity; I shut that shit down after a year), and signage begging to make merry over the birth of “Christ”.
What’s my problem with Merry-Christmas? He’s not a G-d, no matter how much you fluff up his origin story, with Roman tropes. I will meet you halfway and concede that the man, and his message, remain strong–it is a message that lives on, in Reform Judaism. On that note, can Christians please stop saying that Jewish people “disdain” or “do not believe” in Jesus. That’s incorrect; we don’t believe in “Christ Jesus”, and some of us do disdain that notion…it’s not semantic, until certain writers make it that way.