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Sixteen Christmases and a Chanukah Bush

Last year, I rejected the Jewish ‘December dilemma’ by forging a new December holiday tradition. This year, the Eitz Moed rose once again–with much joy and no angst required.

Fifteen Christmases and an Eitz Moed

Last December, on a Jewish journey and with my possessions in storage, I celebrated my first tree-free holiday season. This year, officially Jewish and back in my own apartment, I’m finally faced with the December Dilemma. Jews don’t put up Christmas trees, and there’s no such thing as a Chanukah bush. And then I got an idea.

“…But one of the worst is commercialism.”

In this second of two tardy Yuletide posts, I realize just how crass a secular Christmas can be, by spending my first one as an outsider looking in.

Oy to the World

When a well-meaning friend asked me on Christmas Eve, “Is being at temple tonight hard for you?” they were surprised I said, “No.” I wasn’t surprised at all.

Fourteen Christmases and a Chanukiyah

Living Jewishly obviously means spending the period from Thanksgiving Day to New Year’s Eve with a different emphasis. This year, I’ll leave my well-known tree fetish behind. But as I ponder all the adult Christmases I’ve kept, I’m realizing I won’t miss that holiday’s sense of joy and wonder…because I’m increasingly finding those feelings to be an everyday part of my new journey.

Target Corp: How About a Nice Menorah for Christmas?

Why does Target Corp. think delivering Chanukah menorahs by Christmas Eve is a selling point for Jews?

Tracking Santa an Accidental Cold-War Christmas Gift

Ever wonder why NORAD tracks the whereabouts of Santa Claus every Christmas Eve? Turns out the internationally popular North American Aerospace Defense Command holiday tradition got started simply because of a careless cold war-era typo.

New Survey Says Social Media Good for Holiday Business

A new survey from comScore this week (reported in TechCrunch) suggests that social media has a positive effect of holiday purchases. Last week, the survey firm asked 425 shoppers nationwide about their buying habits this holiday season. As many as 28% said that social media had affected their purchasing decisions this year, including online product reviews and Facebook and Twitter posts from friends and trusted influencers.

In Keeping with Tradition

This year it took 18 hours to put up my tree, and I’m happy to have broken my personal record for speed. Previously, the same over-abundant Victorian tree I’ve done for thirteen years has taken me half-again as long. All seven-and-a-half artificial feet, 2,400 branch tips, and 1,250 lights of her. I’m thinking I got off easy.