OK, quick question for Gentle Readers:
The sun has gone down, here in the Nexus of Nutmeg, and that means that Chanukah is ovah.
Now, my employer has decked our hall with boughs of pine, and cones, and ribbons, and bells, and stocking hung by the elevator shaft with care. Oh, and nutcrackers. But also with mylar dreidels and cardboard menorahs. And lights and snowmen and poinsettias and Snoopy in a Santa hat. You know. It’s festive.
As I mentioned before, Chanukah is over. Done. Forty-four candles burnt to nothing; no candles left. Tonight I will pack up the dreidels and the Woolworth’s Menorah and all the Chanukah books and crafts, and I won’t bring them out until next December. Should I suggest taking down the Chanukah decorations at my place of employment as well?
Look, everybody knows that the decorations are up as a sop to multiculturalism, so that we won’t look like we’ve forgotten that there are Jews around, even in December. We put them up when we put up the rest of the winter decorations. And most of the other decorations are winter decorations, rather than explicitly Christmas decorations; sure there’s a tree and the stockings, but the snowmen and poinsettias and snowflakes are pretty much just wintery. On the other hand, they will all come down on January Third, or at any rate sometime that first week in January rather than hanging around until February or March. So nobody is fooled.
And on one level, when I see a Winter Festivity display that still has the mylar dreidels two full weeks after Chanukah is over, I don’t feel at all that my feelings as a Jew have been taken into account. I mean, at that point they might as well just put up Purim scrolls and masks, right? The message is we don’t really know anything about Chanukah, but we’ve heard it’s the Jewish Christmas. So my inclination is to take ‘em down tonight, or over the weekend at the latest.
On the other hand, it is extra work and annoyance for those of us who do the putting up and taking down of seasonal decorations. And, at our house, we do leave our magnificent glass-and-bronze Menorah out all year round as an awbjay. It’s not like there’s something distasteful or disrespectful about a mylar dreidel on Asara B’Tevet. And next year Chanukah won’t be over until sundown on December 28th. But in 2013, Chanukah will be over for three week when they finally box up the dreidels, unless something is done to change the way we do things. Which, again, wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
So, here’s the question: For GRs who are Jewish, how do you feel about the cardboard menorahs on the post-Chanukah pre-Christmas stretch? For GRs who aren’t, how would you feel about the yidn taking their mylar dreidles and going home on the tenth?
Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,