Lifestyle / Food And Drink

Michelle Loewenstein
2 minute read
23 Dec 2013
7:00 am

A kosher Christmas

Michelle Loewenstein

This year, I threw my first Christmas party.

Picture: Freerangestock.com.

That may not seem like a big deal – except that I happen to be Jewish.

For some reason, the allure of shiny Christmas décor got the better of me this year. I convinced a friend to put up his first Christmas tree on the condition that I’d take it down. Apparently during his childhood, that part was too depressing for him. He allowed me to help decorate it, and I spent a happy afternoon making it look like Father Christmas, all the elves and a couple of reindeer had thrown up tinsel and trinkets everywhere. After that, the bauble bug bit hard, and I managed to coerce my friend into throwing a Christmas party that I would host.

It was then that I realised how dangerous Christmas is for your pocket. If you’ve attended any Jewish celebration, you’ll know that feeding people is kind of our thing, so going crazy on cake, mince pies and candy canes was second nature. I also made the mistake of heading to China Mall for “one or two odds and ends.” Let’s just say one or two wasn’t all I left with.

The party was a hit – everyone ate, drank and was generally merry. No one cared that their host didn’t know the difference between a manger and a menorah. We had a good laugh at the totally over-the-top treats that were served, and left with a bag filled with gifts from our “secret Santa”.

My little gathering has been observed with different reactions. Jewish people find it almost blasphemous, Christian people think I’m invading their territory, and people of other religions find it plain weird. I see it all a bit differently – I brought people together to enjoy each other’s company, managed to convince a friend to bring Christmas into his home, and I even got in a bit of Jewish education when I was asked questions about Chanukah, the holiday we celebrate towards the end of the year.

So to all the naysayers, my message is this: “Bah humbug. Oy vey, can’t we all just get along?”