“Part of what we are trying to teach our children in their lack of participation in this experience, is how to not fit in, how to not belong.” I like this quote from a blog entry on not celebrating Halloween because it isn’t a Jewish holiday. (http://lilith.org/blog/2013/11/halloween-coda/#sthash.RVQtglch.dpuf)
I feel similarly about Christmas. I don’t want to “belong.” I want to be different and celebrate holidays that most people have never even heard of but that mean a lot to me. My major holidays do not include Chanukah even though so many want to tell me so. Halloween is not secular like people insist it is. It has both pagan and Christian roots. And arguably it may have Jewish roots… I looked it up and it originally took place in the springtime as all saints day, but since so many people were coming into Rome and spreading disease they moved it to colder months. So I extrapolated, probably incorrectly, but maybe it used to coincide with Purim. And Purim also has a kind of “mocking death” tone, although not quite so much “celebrating death,” because that really goes completely against Jewish philosophy of life being most important. Purim is more like a “mocking bad people” and “laughing at life’s travesties” kind of thing maybe. I don’t know. All I know is I don’t like Halloween and I don’t feel part of it. And I’m glad it’s over but not glad that the Christmas season is already here. But glad to be in my position where I can look at these things critically and ask questions like why on earth do people put trees in their houses. And glad not to be offended when people ask me similar questions because for us outsiders, questions about the status quo aren’t offensive and are in fact encouraged and educational and worth grappling with.