On Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year, we fast, not feast
My husband and I drive around and look at Christmas lights Merry Christmas Wishes every year. It doesn’t move us to convert to Christianity or question our Jewish faith. It’s pretty clear to us that Christmas decorations are put out on lawns, strung along gutters, and sometimes placed on rooftops, to decorate the house, not to proselytize or move someone to religious rapture.
The most important Jewish holidays do not have any fictional characters to go along with them like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They are deeply moving and meaningful to Jews, but there isn’t any bling.
On Yom Kippur, the most solemn day of the year, we fast, not feast. We sit in the synagogue the entire day and break the fast after sundown. It is spiritually rigorous and a time for self-reflection.
Since we don’t have any fun stuff to augment our holy day, we vicariously enjoy Christmas cheer, but it does not undermine our beliefs. After all, Judaism is the foundation of Christianity and both faiths share many values.
In recent years retailers have been catching on and now sell us deprived Jews some goodies for Hanukkah. Although the holiday is not the most important one on the Jewish calendar, some fun traditions have grown up around it and the accouterments are a retailer’s dream.
I have Hanukkah-themed guest towels in my bathroom that are embroidered with dreidels and menorahs. I even succumbed to the charm of a string of Hanukkah lights to hang in the window.