Despite my longing to reclaim Christmas, I always hoped to settle down with a nice Jewish boy. The problem was, there weren't many to go around in my New England town. Sure, I met a few more heeb hotties at summer camp, but they didn't live within a 50 mile radius most of the year. Although my parents and I not-so-secretly hoped I'd end up with a member of my own tribe, in the meanwhile, I enjoyed the romantic company of numerous blond-haired, blue-eyed "goyfriends." Sometimes I knew they were temporary fixes, but more often I envisioned a future where my would-be husband converted to Judaism and our kids all had bar or bat mitzvahs. The compromise, of course, would be that our multi-culti family could still celebrate Christmas. Inner conflict resolved; reindeer games reinstated!
Over the years, I dated at least five more Christian guys, always hoping these relationships would last, at least, through the holidays. My parents divorced when I was a sophomore in high school. The breakdown of our family holiday traditions were further broken down by dual households and brothers who were away at college or spending time with their significant others' families instead of dealing with the intricacies and divided loyalties of our own. It was merely simpler to celebrate Christmas with other folks versus Hanukkah with our own.
My oldest brother dated a non-Jewish girl for over five years before figuring out the "religious differences" and eventually getting married. Another friend of mine dated her boyfriend for nearly twelve (!) years until they worked it out, and he finally proposed. The fact is, relationships flow more smoothly when two people have a religion, ethnic background, and family values in common. Personally speaking, marrying a man with the same belief system has a lot to do with Jewish history. For centuries, Jews have been persecuted, culminating in the 6 million lives lost during the holocaust. I can't deny the feeling that it is my inner duty to help repopulate my people. Chosen ones or not, my kids will celebrate Hanukkah (and Passover and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur...) and that's final!
Well, not exactly.