Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Soup For You Today

I swear I'll post after today. Just gotta do one more day of actual work and then I'm all yours to discuss:

1. My favorite line in any Christmas song ever: The Beach Boys "Merry Christmas Baby," wherein they sing most profoundly: "Christmas comes this time each year.."

That Brian Wilson. What a philosopher.

2. My "love" for a cappella groups, especially those performing in Union Station under the enormous Norway Tree (a huge tree covered in Norwegian and US flags, and apparently a gift from the Nordmennene of Norge?). I love a cappella groups for the studied earnestness they bring to every song, even one like Sleigh Ride, which is the perfect example of a truly fun Christmas song. In the hands of the average a cappella group, however, it is reduced to a Star Search audition, replete with wide fake smiles, faux hand gestures and Rachael Ray-inspired "festiveness" that makes you want to "unseasonally greet" the next effing amateur singer who thinks it's charming to actually yell "Yoo HOO!!" after the line, "outside the snow is falling and friends are calling yoo hoo..." (Much like the people who yell 'Dum Dum Duuummmm!' whenever Neil Diamond sings "Sweeet Car-oh-line..{Dum Dum Dum!} good times never seemed so good {yelling: So good! so Good!}) Although I can forgive the Diamond thing if everyone present is drunk or 20 years old or both.

3. The inability to find any Chanukah items after the first night of Chanukah. We ran out of candles today, so I was on a mission from Judah Maccabee (oh okay, Bambina actually) to get some more before sundown. I will spare you the number of stores I went to (5) only to find all of these bargain bins full of...matzo! Helloooo?! We only eat matzo at Passover, ie, around Easter, ie, in the SPRING! Why did you purchase a gross of matzo for Chanukah? Virginia grocery stores really should hire some Jews, for heaven's sake. Regardless, I asked at every store, Target included, and they were all like, "oh well we took it all down; it was last week, right?" YEAH, but it's EIGHT NIGHTS, so we're still in it. And I need some candles. "Oh, well, I think we've got some napkins and stuff left but I'm pretty sure all the other stuff is gone." "What, did you have a mad rush of Jews to clear the shelves of your exactly 15 total boxes of candles? Or was I too busy eating matzo to get here on time?"

Which brings me to my annual rant. Call it my "assault on Christmas" if you will. I'm the FIRST person to be all excited about Christmas parties, Christmas dinners, Christmas presents for my neice, Bambina's friends and my god-daughter. I'm so there for you. I don't complain about the trees; in fact I like them. I don't correct you if you say "Merry Christmas" because I think you're being polite and that's nice, whereas correcting someone who offers you a well-intentioned greeting is rude. I don't even get wiggy when trying to explain to someone that Bambina will not be sitting on Santa's lap for a photo (no matter that person's protestations that "it's not religious") simply because he's part of a tradition that is not ours, religious or not. And let's be honest, it's not like Santa shows up in May. He's directly related to Christmas, whether that word makes you think of the Divino Nino Jesus or El Hombre Rojo Gordo con Barba Blanca. And we don't do Christmas, any more than you light candles for Diwali, make food for El Dia de los Muertos, or have your son go through some African tribal manhood ritual--simply because they are not part of your tradition. Which means we don't do Santa; and we're okay with that.

All I'm asking is if someone at any store in the metro DC area could--if not actually hire a Jew around the holidays--at least call me for a 10 minute primer on customer service for people who celebrate holidays other than Christmas. You can put our stuff right next to the Christmas decorations; I don't care. Just at least have some stuff! As it stands, the 1 store that had even one single Chanukah item (Target) had them clear across the store from the "seasonal" department in what I called under my breath "the Jewish corner." One shelf. Picked over paper products. A chintzy menorah--for $30 bucks no less! And three rolls of really tacky wrapping paper.

Then I remembered the meaning of the Miracle of this Festival of Lights: they only had enough oil to burn the menorah for one night, but it miraculously burned for 8 nights. And I was inspired to find a solution to my no-candle conundrum.

That solution? The only one possible with the limited supplies on hand.

The only issue being that matzo smells terrible when burned...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Isn't it comforting to know that a Target employee knew what night Chanukah had begun! Sounds like the store or at least the employee had a level of awareness. A little less exasperation, please!