Santa pulled out a box wrapped in animal gift paper and read out a name. In front of him, my son Herman and a pack of mostly blonde-haired 3-year-olds dressed like Santa Claus and gingerbread men waved their arms. One by one, with a gift in hand, they ran to their parents who opened their eyes wide and feigned surprise. I watched from the side and began to panic.
My Swedish wife had the flu that night. So I was at my son’s Santa Lucia and Christmas party without my full-time guide who makes sure I don’t make any missteps on the slippery Swedish etiquette slopes. “Please come with me,” I begged her before I left the house.
Will Ferrell recently answered some hysterical questions about Swedish Christmas on the Jonathon Ross show. In this classic clip, Ferrell says several of the more quirky Swedish Christmas customs stem from the fact that Swedes are rabid consumers and still don’t have electricity.
As a Jewish kid, I felt like an outsider during Christmas time. As an adult, I’ve finally decided to stop complaining and embrace Christmas
Every holiday season anti-Christmas thoughts pop into my head. I’ve realized they spring from a contempt I’ve had for Christmas since I was a kid, growing up as a Jew in a predominately Christian town in New Jersey.
I had a new anti-Christmas thought the other day while I was tightening the screws into the trunk of our Christmas tree. It went like this: Only a gentile would kill a tree, bring it home, watch it turn brown, and then throw it out on the curb.
It’s not true, of course, about gentiles and their trees. All religions have silly traditions. Jews and Muslims sacrifice their foreskins, for Christ’s sake. So in comparison, murdering a Christmas tree just for the fun of it seems harmless. Read More