For those who donâ€™t know, Chanuka is the celebration of the military and cultural victory of the Jews in the land of Palestine over the Asserian occupiers, whom controlled that land following the death of Alexander the Great. As far as I know, it is the first known war for religious freedom. It also has nothing to do with Christmas, and is, in general, a minor holiday anywhere where Christmas is not present.
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. Everyone knows this of course. It is also a holiday which celebrates family life â€“ hence, you are supposed to get together with your family at this time. It is also a holiday which celebrates capitalismâ€¦for without Christmas, the capitalism countries of the world would be much poorer.
Santa is every corner in China (at SGV in SND).
In the past I did not like Christmas because I did not like to celebrate Jesus or capitalism. And I have other holidays to celebrate family. I have recently changed my mind. Even though I do not view Jesus as my savior, nor do I see him as divine (at least, not any more divine than any other man), nor do I recognize him as the son of G-d (in any way different from myself and every human as the sons and daughters of G-d)â€¦and even though I really hate how his message has been twisted and changed by religions through the agesâ€¦I realize that his life and his message are universal and are worth celebrating. Furthermore, Capitalism is what brings my customer’s money which they can then spend on me. So Capitalism is also worth celebrating.Hence, we attended a Christmas party with a bunch of American Expats last night.
Here is how it went. We got â€œAutie Guâ€ (our domestic helper / babysitter) to babysit Akiva after he went to sleep last night. We taxied over to the party on the far other side of town. There were a bunch of GMs of companies and their wives. They all lead very different lives from Haga and I because they have more money and they are more separated from the Chinese culture around them (several been in China for years and still donâ€™t speak any Chinese). They were really nice people though. I didnâ€™t have much to talk about though because they were interested in talking about football and their past Christmas experiencesâ€¦and I really canâ€™t talk about any of this stuff.
A self portrait of drunken couple after Christmas Eve party
So I got drunk drinking fine whisky. Haga drank a little and got red faced so she looks more drunk than me. About the time Iâ€™m nice and happy drunk, we needed to go home. The next day was the first day of Chanuka. Haga made delicious potato latkes.
We lit the candles.