Last Sunday, I was struck throughout the day at how much I didn’t realize that it was Christmas Day. My mom visited for the past week and she kept remarking, as we were shopping, how there weren’t any Christmas decorations in the mall, any Christmas music blaring in the stores, and any “Merry Christmas” announcements from the store clerks. Unless you think about it, you can literally live in a place here where you don’t know that it is Christmas. That’s not to say, of course, that there is anything wrong with Christmas. It is just that it is very hard to be a minority your whole life, living in a Christian dominated culture. It’s a shock to the system to finally be in a place where there are sufganiyot (the ever present jelly doughnuts) on every corner, Chanukah music around, Chanukiot in every shop window and people yelling ‘Chanukah Sameach’ everywhere you go.
At school on Sunday and Monday, I laughed out loud when I heard the first bell. They had changed the bells to sing out a Hanukah tune instead of the regular bell. Every 45 minutes we heard a Hanukah song over the loud speaker. Here I was working on Christmas day in a public school which was blaring Hanukah music! Amazing!