By Comedian, Ben Rosenfeld
Growing up, December was always my month of being a total misfit. When kids would ask, “what’d you get for Christmas?” I’d answer, “nothing.” They’d say, “Oh right sorry, I forgot. I meant, what’d you get for Hanukkah?” And I’d say, “nothing.” Then the kid would give me a puzzled look and wonder if I was on food stamps until the teacher called for recess.
I was born in the Soviet Union (now known as Russia) and came to America when I was four years old, but I feel I never fit in anywhere. You see, Russians don’t trust me because I’m Jewish. Americans don’t trust me because I’m Russian. And Jews don’t trust me, because they’re Jewish.
My family didn’t really celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas (or Kwanzaa, or my current personal favorite: Festivus). The main holiday we’d celebrate was New Years. As a kid, that’s when I’d get all my presents. We’d have a big party with friends on December 31st, and a family dinner on January 1st.
New Years is not Russian Christmas (which is actually January 7) – it’s just a separate day of celebration– a true separation of church and state, but not a separation of commercialism and state! I still loved my Lego gifts!
So if you don’t get what you wanted this Christmas or Hanukkah (which is the same night for the first time ever), try convincing your loved ones to celebrate New Years the Russian gift giving way!