I absolutely love this time of year.
You see, in the cold Communist stronghold where I was born — the USSR — we weren’t allowed to celebrate any kind of religious holiday. So, what they did was celebrate New Year exactly like you Christian-types celebrate Christmas — we had a New Year tree, Santa Claus (or, as we called him, “Grandfather Frost” — who had his assistant, Snow Girl, which was generally an excuse for a Russian girl to wear a short red miniskirt with white fuzzy trim), presents, songs — everything you guys have, without the messy Jesus thing.
And then we fled Kiev as Jewish refugees (we did! Take THAT, Communists!) came here, and continued to celebrate New Year up until I was 13 or 14. My mom would love getting a tree while my dad absolutely hated it. We’d be that family that would have the tree until July, until my dad got tired of it and threw it out the window.
Like I said, I loved the music, the coziness, the general warmth of it. Plus, since it was 6 days after Christmas, it was far cheaper to buy gifts.
At some point, my mom started reading more about Judaism and became very much into it — realizing that New Year was, in fact, Christmas, and that we were, in fact, more or less, celebrating a Christian holiday. So, we decided to move our festivities to September, for Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year… or Jew Year). But there is no tree, or Grandfather Frost, and we lose out on the warmth that Christmas with it brings.
Ironically, my dad now says how much he misses New Year.
I don’t mind the change — it seemed appropriate somehow. We weren’t really allowed to be Jews in the USSR, so it seems right to throw off the reminder of that oppression. Still, I love the season, I love the music and, thanks to my friends, I get to vicariously celebrate through them.
This unnecessary long post is leading to this: Happy Christmas, New Year or whatever else it is you celebrate. Be happy, be merry, be joyful and relax.
And, as my gift to you, I offer a video that we posted a while ago with two characters from Break a Leg: Tahko and Mint. Who happen to have a band, called: Mint’s Mint Condition Cover Band. Who happen to want to wish you a happy holidays.