Can We Put Lights Up Too?
My brother and I never had Christmas. We lived in a beach community in California and we were Jewish. We were strange to the kids in our neighborhood. Don’t get me wrong, we were liked well enough and had plenty of friends. But we were a bit of a curiosity too. No pre-Christmas excitement or frenzied grabbing of the Toys R Us section in the Sunday paper. No letters to Santa or baking mountains of cookies. No tree, no lights. No lists, no shopping. As a kid I felt cheated. Sure, we got Hannukah presents but it wasn’t wrapped in the same kind of amazing wonder as Christmas. Hannukah is more matter of fact without all the glitz. Christmas was magic. Christmas had Santa and snow, stories and songs and beautiful decorations. I remember feeling slighted.
I think I was about 8 when I began asking why. Why can’t we have all the fun stuff? Why doesn’t Santa come? I remember my mom saying Santa knew who house to visit by looking for the lights. If you hung lights you were telling Santa “come on in, we believe in you”!
I stewed on this until the next Christmas. Then I began my campaign to put up lights. I thought of all kinds of reasons to do it but, no. We couldn’t have lights because we didn’t believe in Santa. Couldn’t we just pretend to believe? No. Santa knew who believed and who didn’t. This was confusing to me because if Santa KNEW who believed didn’t that make him real? If he wasn’t real he couldn’t KNOW anything!
Hannah and I put up lights in front of the apartment last night. We know Santa isn’t coming but hey! It looks so pretty! The tree will go up this coming weekend. And I’m excited.