I came to Christmas late. Born of Jewish and atheist parents, we had no celebration at all. Oh, how I envied the boisterous enthusiasm of my Christian friends! The tree. The gifts. The decorations. The family gatherings. It looked like a perfect world to me.
When I married a non-Jew (you couldn’t call him Christian because he never showed any interest in Christianity or attended a church except for a wedding or baptism … or any other religious establishment, either.
The great thing was Christmas. His family, lacking any noticeable relationship to any religion, was extremely enthusiastic about Christmas.
They were the biggest wrappers and tree decorators anywhere. I could jump into the event with a vengeance without feeling that I’d leapt into another religion since there didn’t appear to be any religion involved.
There were Carols to be sung, though, which was as close to religion as we ever got. When Owen was born, we got even more enthusiastic about the holiday. There was little he could want that he did not get. He was an only child and we had a lot of friends, many of whom were Jewish and thus delighted to find an object for holiday giving.
I wish I had pictures of the wrapping from days of old, but I don’t. All I can say is that some were art. These days, just getting something wrapped at all is a big deal. Oh, how times do change, don’t they?
I used to wrap packages for the dogs, but they never got a grip on unwrapping. They were baffled by the packages, whining while we unwrapped and passed out the goodies. Now we just give them the goodies and they seem happy without the wrapping paper.
Perhaps they are wiser than we are.