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Cultural Divide

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Photo: Microsoft Office

Maybe it is because we don’t have an article of clothing associated with any of our holidays. Or maybe it is something else. But I have never understood why grown men and women walk around sporting a Santa hat or other festive wear during the Christmas season.

And it’s not just an isolated sighting here and there. On a recent trip to Chicago, I lost count of how many folks were attired in plush red hats, reindeer antlers, and the like roaming through LAX and ORD.

I just don’t get it.

Is it a cultural thing? Or is it due to Frume Sarah’s missing “fun and light-hearted” gene?

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Thursday, 16 December 2010 11:27 pm

    Could be worse, it could be Christmas sweaters, complete with baubles…

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  2. Thursday, 16 December 2010 11:51 pm

    I also think it is particularly ridiculous!

  3. Friday, 17 December 2010 4:46 am

    I don’t think that you are missing any genetic material…and I don’t understand this seasonal phenomenon either. Last week, I stood in disbelief as someone told me about “SantaCon” in New York City:


  4. Jockbro permalink
    Friday, 17 December 2010 6:55 am

    I actually don’t find it odd at all. It’s people hearkening back to their youths, like grown men who wear football jerseys while watching games on Sundays. It’s a way to re-connect to a time of unbridled joy. Do we not dress up on Purim like all the kids?

  5. babkanosher permalink
    Friday, 17 December 2010 7:44 am

    I saw some shmo JOGGING with a Santa’s hat on his head. I don’t get it at all. And while, yes, we dress up on Purim, we do not go around for weeks in advance wearing crowns or triangle hats, etc.

    • Sunday, 19 December 2010 1:01 am

      I wear my crown all day long, every day.

  6. Friday, 17 December 2010 8:17 am

    I love it actually. It tells me something about you right away without me needing to talk to you. Of course, I think it would be great if people could go around in costumes at all times. It seems to me that Christmas is the time of year for exceptions. People who will never take charity don’t mind a helping hand at Christmas.

  7. jae permalink
    Friday, 17 December 2010 8:29 am

    With all that is bad and hurtful and wring in the world I say more power to some expressing themelf, sharing in the fun and reminding those who celebrate in the holiday that it is a time for joy.

  8. Friday, 17 December 2010 8:30 am

    I have to admit (at the risk of inciting the Ire of Frume Sarah and/or her posse) that here at EdibleTorah HQ we have a Chanukah tradition which does, in fact, involve an article of clothing.

    It is a hat.
    It is a blue hat.
    It is a blue hat with a Menorah on top.
    It was created by one of my children as part of a “home ec” class.

    We wear it at exactly one point in the holiday: Each night of Chanukah, someone is selected to “deliver” presents (which is to say: take them out of the bag/box/whatever where we’ve sorted them (one bag for first night, another for second, etc. Mrs. EdibleTorah is very very VERY organized that way) and drop them into the hands of the recipient.)

    That person – the deliveryboy du jour – gets to wear the hat.

    It adds a level of fun, of (as Jockbro said) pure unbridled, un-self-conscious joy, and of quirky weirdness to the experience.

    We wouldn’t wear it out (or even in front of friends!). Certainly not jogging.

    But in the privacy of our own home, insanity is often the norm.

    – EdibleTorah

  9. Ginger permalink
    Friday, 17 December 2010 11:30 am

    To me Christmas is not about religon but about the spirit of unconditional forgivness and love. Growing up with Chirstmas as a child to me wearing the silly outfits, singing the songs, drinking eggnog, baking ginger bread and waiting for santa, was the one time of the year the family got together, loving, forgiving and sharing good memories. It was also a time to GIVE without anyones pride getting in the way of being helped. To me it is all about the spirit of living, loving and giving, which gives me a very warm and fuzzy feeling. It was a time of appreciating ones heritage. With judasim I find that a sense of heritage is around year round. Unfortuately, that isn’t true for everyone. Therefore, I say doesn’t matter if people choose to wear a silly hat, antlers or silly sweaters, if it is what brings good cheer, happiness and a desire to give and make others happy.

    It is just sad that we don’t try and envoke these feelings of love, kindness and giving all year long. I say don’t judge someone for bringing happiness to the world, just enjoy!

  10. Saturday, 18 December 2010 1:44 pm

    Oh sweet lady! I think it’s just fun and in-the-spirit of it all. Not that I’m planning on donning a dreidel sweater anytime soon. But still, it’s cute, no? 🙂

    • Saturday, 18 December 2010 5:29 pm

      What about my dog? I found a felt menorah and sewed it onto a harness. She wore it in a Christmas parade celebrating shelter dogs. The only admittedly Jewish dog in the whole thing. She was darned cute:)

  11. Sunday, 19 December 2010 12:07 pm

    I think it’s about bringing joy to the long, cold winter months.

    People look for reasons to be marry and celebrate.

  12. Monday, 27 December 2010 5:46 pm

    We do have clothing associated with a holiday. Let’s all wear kittel and keds around the month before Yom Kippur – see if it catches on!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 28 December 2010 4:49 pm

      Now THAT is a superb idea! I’m in.

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