The Jewish Point of View of Christmas

Sometimes it feels like everyone celebrates Christmas, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

Just because Hanukkah takes place around the same time as Christmas doesnt make them the same.

The Wilson Beacon

Just because Hanukkah takes place around the same time as Christmas doesn’t make them the same.

Nadav Golden, Columnist

Although most people in the U.S. love and enjoy it, there are people that don’t realize there are a large number of people who don’t celebrate Christmas at all. As a Jewish person, I look at the Christmas season in a very different way.

To begin, there is a feeling of being left out, especially in not having enough representation in TV shows, movies, or holiday concerts. During the holiday season, stores usually decorate with Christmas decor with few to no Hanukkah decorations at all. If there even are any, they’re tucked in a corner or the back of the store.

Additionally, many people have a hard time addressing Jewish people during the holiday season. This stems from people not recognizing that there are other holidays besides Christmas. There are three typical ways communication goes wrong during the holidays: 

  1. Saying “Merry Christmas” no matter who you are talking to. 
  2. Wishing a Jewish person “Happy Hanukkah” on Christmas (this year, Hanukkah ends almost three weeks before Christmas). If you forgot to say “Happy Hanukkah” during the holiday, you don’t get a free pass on Christmas.
  3. Saying nothing at all to their Jewish friends and acquaintances during the holiday season.

It is also very common to see Hanukkah clothes or decorations that have nothing to do with the holiday. For example, according to The New York Times, a company was selling a shirt saying “Matzo Ball Man.” Matzo is a food eaten during Passover and has no correlation to Hanukkah. Examples like that show that the companies that make the apparel know nothing of the holiday and are not doing simple research to learn. Seeing these irrelevant “Hanukkah” things makes me feel very sad, since companies don’t feel the need to respect my religion and traditions. When we see the correct and accurate representations of our religion in popular culture, we feel included and acknowledged.

All I ask is that people do a better job embracing those who celebrate Hanukkah during the Christmas season. Maybe you can ask them questions about their traditions; I personally love answering peoples questions, but everyone is different. Even the quickest “Happy Hanukkah” during Hanukkah might brighten someone’s day.