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Monday, November 20, 2006

 

Credit where Credit is Due!

Since we’ve got plenty of nice and inspiring holidays I never felt compelled to join in on non Jewish celebrations even though they are widely advertised everywhere and albeit less meaningful, they seem to be more enjoyable, less restrictive and more fun altogether.
The upcoming, technically christian, but in all fairness basically world holiday is already on every billboard, in every magazine and in many very enjoyable made for TV movies.
I have no objections against any religious holiday as long as its spirit is not anti-semitic.
In fact strolling and looking at the manifold and beautiful christmas decorations is very pleasant and relaxing.

Yet there’s something that definitely bothers me about this holiday.
Hard working parents, spend hours looking for the right gift, stand in line during what is considered the most hectic shopping season of the whole year, lovingly take the gifts home and hide them.
Then when it’s time to distribute the presents they tell their kids that an old mystical figure, who in all honesty would not be chosen to represent weight watchers, is the guy they have to thank.
Why would anyone hand over credit to a nonexistent character instead of being the recipient of the child’s love and gratitude?
Buying a gift for someone else can be greater than buying something for oneself, but that is only true if you see that person reaction and joy.
We are not referring to a case of donating Tzedakkah where anonymous giving is the ideal way to do it.

If I buy a gift, I’m sure not going to tell the beneficiary that some stranger from the mall is the one to be grateful too.

Comments:
Xmas is a holiday in which you are proclaming that miriam gave a virgin birth and that Jesus, a JEW is G-d. If you give your kids or whomever gifts you are giving it to them in the name of vain. Are you going to celebrate easter too? Easter isn't anti semetic is it?
 
Nice to have ya back. Interesting thought about the holidays.
 
but then on the other hand, what would christmas be like without there anonymous white bearded santa.
Its just a custom. we have many interesting customs as well.
good point though!!
 
hmmm
nice thought
-towik
 
All non-Jewish holidays are today something so different then they are at their root/inception. Look into it. If you're waiting to find anti-semitism to bother you, it's probably there...but,eh ..that's the least of the craziness, hah?
 
christians are just plain stupid thats why their religious beliefs make zero sense
 
Prag, good point about parents letting their children know it's from them instead of a certain character.
 
interesting post.
the holiday is more blurred these days, what with all consumerism and the focus on gifts as opposed to a more real meaning.
 
anon-I am not celebrating xmas at all, never!
I was just pointing out that I can't understand it's focus.

Social-Thanks it's good to be back.

1Beautiful-true santa is a friendly old fellow that brings joy, that’s cute.

Towik-hmmm..thanks:)

Mimi-I guess it is, I meant that in general though, I have no problems with anyone’s customs as long as it doesn’t involve demeaning the Jews or Israel. If it involves slaughtering goats, well that’s their business then.

YY-I don’t know about that, I don’t think the stupid factor can be arranged by religious belief.

Lvnsm- thanks

Sarah-indeed, it’s incredible how marketed it all is, but are our holidays so much better in this regard? With hotels opening everywhere etc..?
 
You mean the chanukkah man never popped down your chimney? Kidding lol.
I like Christmas music. It's so cheery and I sing along to myself in stores. May Hashem forgive me.
 
sarah -h :There are worse sins, who doesn't like those xmas melodies?
I even heard them in shul.
How you ask? a guy who probably doid not realize what it was had it as ringtone on his cell.
 
So true!!!
I think the whole Santa thing is BIZARRE!
 
almost as bizzare as telling ur kids that eliyahu hanavi is at the door on seder night and at a bris even though we cant see him!!
are you also against the tooth fairy?
 
anon- good point, but at least we don't mention him giving a gift when he doesn't. He only visits.
 
The tooth fairy? That one's new I think I'll google her. But if she doesn't have music I think I'll still like christmas more.
 
People mentioned the tooth fairy before I wanted to- and I wanted to say-... I guess your kids don't believe in the tooth fairy or in the stork, huh? lol
But anon brought out a good point about Eliyahu HaNavi. However- he was a real person (or is still...?)and Santa- LEHAVDIL- was not.
 
Kasamba-bizzare is THE word

Anonymous-not at all, we do not ask the kids to thank Eliyahu for anything.
And as workingema said, santa is an imaginary guy wheel Eliyahu is a historical character.
No problem with the tooth fairy, although I usually say mice are coming to exchange the teeth for money.

Malka-exactly my point! Thanks for visiting.

Sara –no music indeed, xmas is still more interesting :)

Workingema-there lies the big difference and the fact that Eliyahu isn’t given credit for anything the parents did (imagine we said the afikomen gift is from Eliyahu??would any kid take their parents seriously after that?)
 
there's nothing wrong with stretching a kids imagination lets face most kids do realise it is not real.
 
Anonymous-I agree, my stand against a santa is not that he's not real, it's that the kids'(who do not completely realize obviously) gratitude is directed towards him when the parents spend much time and effort in getting them gifts.
 
I can deal with all our secular holidays here in the states except for X day. Its just a freakin' horror. As I'm sitting here typing this I've got x music playing all around me and its not even Thanksgiving yet. G-d help me.
 
>christians are just plain stupid thats why their religious beliefs make zero sense<

Y.Y...having read your posts on several blogs, you are just plain offensive, not to mention ignorant. Obviously when you were learning, your rav left out the lesson on manners. And by the way, Santa Claus is not a religious figure, he is a FOLKLORE figure. And yes, I'm Christian.
 
i think santa is a fairly innocent folklore tradition...although its interesting that, like the easter bunny, he has no real relevance to what christmas is actually celebrating. the holiday has a nice, warm vibe to it, but its focus is extremely materialistic.
 
In fact, the Talmud states quite clearly that " Hanosein Matanah L'Chaveiro Tzarich L'Hodeeo" loosely translated as: " A person that buys a gift for his friend must let him know who the giver is"

As Rashi explains it is because the receiver must know who to give thanks and have appreciation to!

So, Judaism doesn't agree with fat old Santa's way of giving!

Good post!
 
Amishav-it certainly isn’t a one day holiday as it’s supposed to be, it lasts for months.

Anonymous-are you chrisitan from birth?
Where did you pick up the word ‘rav’?
I’m against trashing other religions and know some very nice people who happen to be christians personally and get along just fine.
Yet the fact remains that under the banner of chritianity many Jews were robbed, abused and slaughtered and whether folklore or religious it’s mostly chrisitan parents who bring up santa on xmas.

Jessica-I agree that he’s completely harmless, in fact he is somewhat of a role model, always cheery and so on.

Lakewood-whenever I’ve got a thought it turns out it’s been written before!
Thanks for brining up this gemarah.
 
trust a snag to qouate a gemarah - can nothing be based on emotion or thoughts?
 
Pragmatician, yes I am Christian from birth but more spiritual than religious. I worked in Lakewood as the only non-Jew in a strict Orthodox office for almost five years, so I know a bit more than your average Christian about Judaism. I am quite openminded and find other religions fascinating.
I dont dispute that ancient Christians persecuted the Jewish people in terrible ways but I do find it unfair that modern day Jews continue to blame modern day Christians for events that took place a thousand years ago.
As for Santa, he is a folklore figure and for our children is fun for imagination and FUN'S sake. Our kids get great enjoyment out of believing in the magic, so to speak. My children are aware of everything I do for them every day of their lives. I dont think that believing that a jolly old fellow who can magically fly, bring joy to children around the world all in one night and can squeeze his big belly down a chimney once a year takes away from that.
Good Channukah to you if I dont get back here before then ;)
 
>Why would anyone hand over credit to a nonexistent character instead of being the recipient of the child’s love and gratitude?<

One more comment...my kids' love and gratitude for me comes from being a wonderful mother, not from whatever material gifts that I give them. At 3 and 6 they are already learning tis better to give than to receive.
 
lol, never thought of it like that. I guess its the same conscept as the tooth fairy. Did you ever tell your kids that story? I dont really have an answer b/c after this post I dont get it either.
 
whats up with the "x"mas?
isnt it called christmas?
 
Anonymous-thanks for your honest answer.
I don't think nor did I write that I dislike santa,xmas or christians.
It was about the fact that young kids do not (because they don't know) show appreciation to their parents for the many gifts they receive.
Thanks for visiting my blog and posting your opinion.
I hope I haven't offended you.

It's beautiful that your kids are mature enough to realize that you do everything for them and appreciate that.
But that's not the case in every family, sometimes for young children receiving gifts is an expression of love they can understand.

Chaverah-I think the tooth fairy is slightly different, a dollar is not equal to hours of waiting in line and a new xbox:)

Beautiful1-xmas is short for christmas. Although I'm not sure Webster carries that spelling.
 
oh..well, there are ppl that avoid saying it intentionaly. I never understood why
 
thank you pragmatician, I was not at all offended by your reply. Interesting blog by the way.

What is very apparent to me is that my kids, and I should specify not so much yet my 3 year old (as she is after all 3 years old) but more so my 6 year old seem to get more pleasure out of my spending time with them, never being too busy to listen to them or play with them, volunteering at their schools, reading to them, taking them on outings, much more than toys and gifts. And no, I have never nor will I EVER stand on line for hours with a bunch of crazed and rabid shoppers for ANY toy. Even many of us Christians find that insane ;)
And yes, we do the tooth fairy thing. It is a harmless and fun little fairy tale and our kids enjoy believing.
 
It is truly bizzare but what annoyed me even more were the people going to the forest to cut a tree and put it in their living room where it would just die. What exactly is the purpose of that?

In Switzerland Santa Clause is not just a jolly fellow. If they children did not behave well during the year they fear to be put in a bag and taken to the forest by him, hence kids fear the moment of truth every year and are pretty scared of Santa - how funny is that?
 
Yes it's somehow a weird costum. They only thing that really disturb me and is so fare away from a holiday is the shopping frenzy. Like there is no tomorrow. What kind of values do you show your kid when buying a whole store together.
 
Head over heel...I do agree with the shopping thing. Insane. I dont go overboard. They only need so many toys, right? I realize that some of our holidays may seem silly to you, but some things are just for fun's sake, nothing more and nothing less. The Santa thing is strictly for the kids. And actually, much of how Christmas is celebrated isnt even Christian at all but Pagan :) All the nature-type symbols...Christmas trees, wreaths, Yule logs, mistletoe, wreaths, etc...all pagan. I believes this stems from the Christians trying to convert the Pagans...believing mixing it up a bit may make it more appetizing to the heathens to convert them;)
I do have a question though...do you celebrate Thanksgiving? Being that it is an American holiday and not a religious one, if not, why not?
 
lol...interesting perspective
 
1beautiful-Well for some it’s a sensitive word, although I agree it doesn’t make much sense.

Anonymous- I’m relieved you weren’t offended as this isn’t and never was the intention of any of my writings.
It sounds like you’re a great mom, who understands priority as it should be.
Indeed christian or Jewish, the only way to be a good mother is by giving and showing lots of love to you kids
It was very interesting to learn that xmas entails lots of pagan customs, I never realized that before.
I can’t answer for head over heel, but many Jews celebrate thanksgiving, as being thankful for what we’ve got is also a Jewish concept. And turkey happens to be kosher:)

Mia-what an interesting santa the Swiss have, I bet kids (who still believe) make sure to behave well.

HOH-The shopping thing is crazy, I stay far away during this time, from large shopping areas.

Bellany-Just my thoughts on paper(well not really on paper)
 
Very good post. On one hand, it's nice not to have to deal with the Xmas madness here in Israel- on the other hand, I always enjoyed the decorations and stuff when I was growing up, even though it wasn't my holiday.

One more thing re. toys- I think most kids today have WAY too many toys. I go to my kids' friends and cousins houses and these people could seriously open a store with all the toys they have. I buy my kids toys too, of course, but I've really cut back in recent years- they've already got plenty and don't need every new toy on the market. In fact, we just cleaned out the toy room and gave away lots of outgrown toys to charity- I was happy to see that they really enjoyed performing this mitzvah.

And you're right, the whole Santa thing is rather silly.
 
Its not as bizarre as God making a woman pregnant...
lol
 
Starting with thanksgiving, I give my thanks for all the blessings that Heavenly Father has given to me and my family. I stay away from the stores those two big days after Thanksgiving. There is too much commericalism put on Christmas now. I do my best to remind everyone what the "reason for the season" is. For us Christains, Jesus Christ is very important to us and we need to take the celebration of his birth seriously.
 
RR-The thing that there are too many kind of toys.
A doll or a miniature car doesn’t do it anymore.

I agree the decoration is gorgeous.

David-true:)

Lucy-Hi, so nice to see you on this blog again.
Thanks for posting this information.
 
I try not to pay too much attention to all of the chaos around me.
 
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