smofbabe on why Christmukkah isn’t a holiday, and why Hanukah isn’t the Jewish Christmas. Well said, all of it. And I agree more and more every year.
There’s nothing sad or sorrowful about acknowledging that Hanukah is a minor religious holiday–we Jews have other holidays that are about renewal, and rebirth, and the promise of better days. And the attempts to make Hanukah more than it is seem more and more to ring a little false.
I think maybe those of us who aren’t Christians maybe need to pull back a little, and not feel so much like we have to, well, feel things this time of year. Because this isn’t the end of my spiritual year, or the start of a new one — my spiritual new year began back in October.
All of which isn’t to say we should all stop enjoying the pretty lights during these short days. (Especially as someone who has appropriated a different set of holidays, the solstices, for secular purposes.) We need all the chances we have to wish each other joy and good will and better times. But it’s okay not to feel the deeper sense of transformation that so much imagery and discussion is focused on this time of year. Not everyone need feel the same things at the same times, and we can all wish each other well, nonetheless.