Is This a Bad Time To Tell Him That We’re Jewish?

by Marinka on October 19, 2008

Because this Christmas List thing isn’t working for me in this economy. Yeah, I know that Christmas is about love and family and well, I suppose, Jesus, but are more Reformed than Orthodox, so it’s pretty much a gift exchange for us. So, I’m the only Jewish one in our family, and even I am only one half Jewish (and the wrong half at that–my mama is a shiksa!), but if we are relying on stereotypes (it’s easy and fun! you know that you want to! everyone’s doing it!) this Jewish thing could be a real money saver! We could get rid of Christmas and celebrate Channukah, which, if memory serves, requires only a few wooden dreidels, some chocolate gelt and the promise of a nose job “when you’re old enough”.

The other thing about this list is that my son wrote it with a lime green Sharpie and I almost passed out from the fumes.

But it’s not just about the economy. Or the stereotypes. It’s about my struggling to strike a balance between the Christmas list and the reality that I want for my children. I want them to ask me for books. I want them to ask me for educational toys. I want them to ask me to donate toys in their names to underprivileged children. I want those things for them even though I never wanted those things for me.

Of course he is not going to get everything on the list, and he knows that. But the items that trouble me the most are the electronics–the XBox, the PSP and the Playstation. I’m not sure what they are and why kids need more than one system. I’m worried that I’m becoming a “back in my day” old fartinka. My son was the last of his friends to get a Wii this year. They all got it for Christmas, and he got it six months later, on his birthday, rather than Jesus’. I thought that I was proving a principle–you don’t just get things because you want them for no reason, he thought that he was being punished–everyone else had one. And I’m not sure that I was in the right. I spent the months that he was Wii-less fervently scheduling playdates with Wii-enhanced kids. But perhaps that’s the lesson that I will ultimately teach my children: if you don’t have, learn to borrow. Because certainly that can’t lead to any problems. I’m blaming the lime Sharpie fumes.

One year ago ...

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

anymommy October 20, 2008 at 7:33 pm

First things first, thank god. I’ve been waiting all day for you to post. It’s Monday. Where have you been? Living your actual life or something.

Christmas in our house = jewishish/agnostic children get presents and eat turkey day.

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texasholly October 20, 2008 at 7:35 pm

I love the title of this post! And your words are so true. UGH! The nerve of you depriving your son of a Wii for a whole 6 months. I am calling CPS.

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Mama Ginger Tree October 20, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Why is he writing his Christmas list and we haven’t even had Halloween yet?!?! I’m scared for you. At least Pokemon cards were #8 on the list. There is hope for a Pokemon free future for you.

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wfbdoglover October 20, 2008 at 8:14 pm

OMG, I am not alone! Lsat year the Christmas list started last August. He is 11 and he still believes. Well, I’m not sure – we just don’t talk about it. We talk about sex and Health class, but not the Easter Bunny, Santa or the Tooth Fairy.

Mine does not have a WII because he has a PSP, Play Station, cell phone AND a laptop (not my doing, my husband is an electronic freak)

Just wait until you have a St. Nick stocking filled with all sorts of goodies (Dec. 6th event here) AND your child comes home from school sad because some one else got a GAME BOY from St. Nick. Can you believe? A Game Boy for a pre Christmas gift?!!

I am with you on this one.

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Kylie w Warszawie October 20, 2008 at 11:17 pm

I used to do the Christmas list thing when I was a kid (and atheist – how odd), but I don’t do it with my own kids. So far, none of them have ever written a Christmas list. I don’t know how I’ve escaped that (aside from the fact that 2 of 4 are illiterate).

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Kristine October 21, 2008 at 5:02 am

I used to go through the Sears catalog every year and mark a bazillion things in there that I absolutely needed for Christmas…and then come Christmas I got NOTHING I had marked. Then one year I gave up on asking for stuff and made a short and sweet list (a basket ball, a football, and some A&M clothes) thinking that they would add to it, since they never got me what I asked for anyway. That year I got everything on my list and NOTHING ELSE (the A&M clothes consisted of 3 T-shirts). There's no winning with a Christmas list.

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ShallowGal October 21, 2008 at 5:13 am

You forgot socks. I always got socks on Hanukkah.

xoxo, SG

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Z October 21, 2008 at 6:45 am

I agree with others – why, oh WHY, is he coming up with a Christmas list NOW?!?! It should be post-Halloween, at least, if not post-Thanksgiving.

As for presents? I, too, distinctly remember getting socks. Every year. It became a tradition, and now… I still get socks. Oh, yes indeed. I highly recommend you start a tradition like that – while it will suck for him now, it’ll be funny in the future. And it will keep his feet warm! 😉

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Marinka October 21, 2008 at 6:48 am

What is wrong with you people? He started his list now so that he can add to it and so that he can drive me fucking insane. The good news is that it is a short trip!

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Real Live Lesbian October 21, 2008 at 8:28 am

I always started my list on Dec. 26th!

It’s never to early!

And I too wish there was a way to wiggle out of all the gifts.

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Heinous October 21, 2008 at 10:26 am

If he keeps up with the sharpie, you could hand a shoebox with wires coming out of it and convince him the there are, in fact, games showing up on the TV.

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Insta-mom October 21, 2008 at 11:07 am

I do not know how we have managed to be Wii-less as long as we have. I am thanking some karmic power for sparing me that agony.

Although I really kind of want a Wii Fit. Not that I’d actually use it, but it sounds good.

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Vodka Mom October 23, 2008 at 3:44 am

I LOVE that damn title!!! I am laughing all over again just seeing that title with the Christmas list below it!!!!! hahahaha

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