Here’s what happens in my head as I’m driving along lately: I see Christmas decorations somewhere. I feel excited about Christmas! I feel guilty about my excitement because I’m Jewish. I have a momentary crisis about co-opting someone else’s culture by planning to get a Christmas tree. I remember that my wife celebrates Christmas. I remember that we’re raising our son Jewish. I get frustrated about all the rules. I think about God and wonder about my beliefs. I rationalize that Christmas trees have nothing to do with Jesus. I decide it’s ok to love Christmas and have a tree and lights and stockings. I worry about sending a confusing message to The Who. I remember hanging stockings as a kid and never being confused about being Jewish. I remember really wanting a Christmas tree and lights and not having them. I get annoyed that I am thinking this much about this topic every time I pass a display of poinsettias in a storefront. I keep driving. I see Christmas decorations somewhere. I feel excited about Christmas! Rinse. Repeat.
What I want is to not feel conflicted about the holidays and to just enjoy them, angst-free and I’m not sure what I need in order for that to happen. Do I really need to choose?