“People don’t know the meaning of the holiday anymore,” declared a woman who sounded very much like she hails from the place my mother fondly and proudly called the Armpit of the Nation, the state where we all were born and raised: New Jersey.
I was browsing the wares of a wonderful little gift shop, feeling mostly buoyant about the start of the Christmas season.
Ms. Jersey was shopping for a Christmas ornament to bring to a holiday party. The saleslady cheerfully pointed out every ornament in the store: a cupcake with feet and rosy cheeks, birds of all feather, snowmen, snowladies, angels, stars, dogs, cats, spheres, trees, Santas, a carrot shaped like a bunny, and even a shoe-shaped elf with a classy wedge. I peeked at them myself, and noticed that the Christmas ornaments hung over a jewelry case full of exquisite pendants: the Star of David, Hebrew letters, dreidels, scrolls, and Trees of Life. One case over held a dozen or more necklaces bearing brightly adorned crosses.
I made my way around the store and as much as I didn’t want to listen to their conversation, I had to. It was loud. Continue reading Holiday Cheer and Jeer