How to be A Jewish Boomer and Still Celebrate Christmas

Posted on December 16, 2013




Jews throughout history have devised clever ways to horn in on the Christmas holiday. They have, like Life in the Boomer Lane, married Christians. They have created their own traditions which usually involve going to the movies and/or eating Chinese food. They get trees and festoon them with blue ornaments and call them Chanukah bushes. Some without a sense of humor have spent the holiday informing everyone that Jesus was Jewish, a fact that runs second to the disappearance of the Amazon rainforest as something that people actually care about.

To be a boomer and Jewish is a double whammy. We are not only on the wrong side of the religion thing, we are also on the wrong side of the age thing. By now, most of us have conceded that there is no Santa Claus, and even if not, many of us are living in active seniors communities that have amenities that don’t include a fireplace. Those of us who have fireplaces probably haven’t used them in years and would doubt that anyone, let alone a large person, would be able to safely get down the chimney. Let’s not even talk about those of us who have already fled to the sweat-infested playground of Florida, America’s over-55 state.

In an attempt to divest ourselves of non-employed offspring, many of us now live in condos. If Santa tries to access a condo building, first he has to wait until someone lets him in. LBL doesn’t know about you, but if she were living in a high-rise, she would personally not allow a large, unidentified man, hauling a bunch of domesticated animals, to gain access. Even having gained access, Santa would have to make his way past the security desk. Let’s assume he manages to do all that. If he is anything like LBL, he will become permanently confused by hallways going off in all directions, a lack of appropriate signage, and residents who hang stupid holiday wreaths on their doors, obliterating the numbers on their units.

LBL has a way out. If you are a Jewish boomer and you really, really want to celebrate Christmas, here’s how to do it:

1. Go to a mall Santa Claus and stand in line  There is such mayhem that everyone will assume you have your grandchild in tow and will not question you. When you get to Santa, you can either say “Oh my, whatever happened to Little Kumquat? He was just here a moment ago.” And then walk away. Or, simply sit in Santa’s lap and go for it.

2. Go to the kind of store that sells Christmas cards, wrapping paper, tree ornaments, etc  Pick everything up and consider it, as though you have a tree/send Christmas cards/are actually buying gifts for people. It is entirely possible that you will find something wonderful for yourself, like a boomer tee-shirt with the British royal crown and the words underneath that say “Keep Calm and Have Another Knee Replacement.”

3. Go to a bakery  Look at all the cookies and cakes. Ask what the deadline is for Christmas dinner orders. Leave before you have purchased a box of Santa and the reindeer, crafted from butter, sugar and marzipan.

4. Wrap an empty box, address it to yourself, and then stand in line at the post office for two hours

5. Bake tons of holiday cookies  Store these for now.

6. Drop money in the Salvation Army bucket   Smile and say to the bell-ringer, “Don’t you just love the holiday?”

7. On Christmas Eve, stand outside your door and await the carolers  When they are finished singing, clap, and give them hot cider and cookies. Go back into your house and take your ear plugs out.

8. On Christmas Day, stay inside until noon   Then place several large trash bags filled with old crumpled newspapers outside the house for pick up.

9. Go to a movie and Chinese dinner, anyway, to reward yourself  Just wear a fake mustache and sunglasses.

10.Wake up the next morning and rejoice  You don’t have to think about any of this for another year. Then bring the homemade cookies to the office. If you have eaten all of them already, please omit #5 on next year’s list.