When toddlers attack

Thursday, December 22, 2011

חלק שני - The reveal

I'll tell you a dirty little secret.  Keep it quiet, okay? 

Here it is:  I love Christmas. 

My internal Yuletide alarm starts clanging as the days get shorter, and I battle with myself to not break out the Christmas CDs in October.  I could probably get away with it, since my tastes run to weird medieval and renaissance disks that don't sound very Christmas-y to most around me and that they find only slightly more enjoyable than being drawn and quartered.  I've tried to get my husband involved by buying albums like "Navidad Renacentista" or "Navidad Ibérica," but that only resulted in my knowing the words to songs like "Riu riu chiu" and "E la don don," that nobody knows even in Spain.  Okay, I know all the words to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" too.  Just don't force me to sit through "My Grown Up Christmas Wish."

Only in Santa Monica -- fair trade chocolate Hanukkah gelt and artisanal dreidels
Know why it's a dirty little secret?  I'm technically Jewish.  Yep, Jewish mom (from whom I ironically inherited the Christmas gene) and WASP dad (who hated Christmas), whiter than the snows of Maine from which he sprang.  No religion.  Not even an effusive Jewish grandmother.  And a big-ass noble fir in our living room every December. Jewish identity in our home was always expressed through food, mainly a weekly or so trip to the deli.  And maybe about a dozen dirty words in Yiddish. I can speak a passable Hebrew, but that's thanks to four years in the university preparing for a career in archaeology that never materialized, not anything my parents did.

So I was pleased last night to assuage my annual twinge of ethnic guilt by attending an impromptu Hanukkah party at the home of some very good friends of ours.  Conveniently, they invited most of our remaining good friends who are still in the dark about our impending event.

Four thousand years of calories on one plate
It's not as though we've kept our mouths completely shut -- a select group of friends has known what we've been up to from the start.  Mostly, they're people who either already have kids or are investigating the process.  And while it occasionally resulted in a revealing post that I hurridly had to delete from my Facebook page, for the most part everyone has kept his or her mouth shut.

The best reaction was from our friend Patrick, whose jaw dropped and whose hands flew to the sides of his face and hovered there for half a minute.  He then offered to babysit.  We were pretty sure they already knew -- I thought I remembered someone telling me that so and so had asked about our trip to India last April -- but no, they all assured us our news came as an enormous surprise. 

Ninety percent of the friends are now in the loop.  That leaves work.

My boss is back in the office on the 27th.

חג שמח לכולם! (For the Hebraically impaired...it says "chag sameach l'kulam," that is "a happy holiday to everyone!")


  1. Four Thousand years makes for a lot of calories, for sure! Our children's new school has a heavy Jewish population in it. It was funny to go to the "Winter" concert and to hear the mix of Christian and Jewish songs together. I'm hoping one of my kids marrys a Jew. I could sure go for that dish up above!
    Yep, it's all about me. See how I put religion aside for a tasty meal.

  2. I love Christmas too, especially now that it will hold such a wonderful memory! I've had Christmas music playing at home and in my office for weeks now...the only thing I cannot take is the crazy shopping and parking and pushy people. But other than that the family, the friends and the food and memories are worth it. Mele Kalikimka E Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

    D and B and C

  3. Putting religion aside for a tasty meal is a Jewish tradition. Why else do you think Jews flock to Chinese restaurants on Christmas?

  4. Great post! Have a Merry Christmas - there's much to celebrate this year for sure!

  5. Mark you just made me Laugh out loud and now everyone is staring.... :) I am excited that you got to share the great news with friends!!!