Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Neil Gaiman Christmas Story

In my family the twelve days of Christmas are not celebrated in their literal sense, but the theory is definitely applied because our Christmas just seems to keep going and going. There are immediate family get-togethers and extended family visits, intimate present opening sessions and big, raucous white elephant parties. Even New Year's becomes just another Christmas. As we get ready to celebrate our third and fourth (depending how you count) Christmas dinners of the year (and of the week) and prepare to feed more than 30 people, I really appreciate Neil Gaiman's dose of Christmas humor from his 2008 article in The Independent.

Gaiman tells the story of how, as children, he and his sisters "knew we were bad Jews because we wanted a Christmas tree," but the knowledge did not stop them from relentlessly campaigning for a tree to decorate for the holidays. Their mother told them sternly (well, maybe sternly the first time, after that it was probably more with a sense of grim exhaustion) that "you couldn't be Jewish and have a Christmas tree," but young Gaiman paid her reservations no mind. Eventually the continual pleading and practical theological arguments of an eight year old won the battle.

Gaiman describes the outcome of their family's new "Hanukkah tree" tradition: "Our more orthodox cousins, profoundly treeless, were both scandalised and impressed by this. But we were happy. We had a nice Jewish Christmas. We were content."

Read the full article on

No comments:

Post a Comment