Oy, it is December. Hanukkah started last night. Hanukkah is a festival, a low-key celebration that is sometimes blown out of proportion here in the U.S. It is not our answer to Christmas. Hanukkah predates Christmas, by centuries. In truth, I would like to wish my Christian friends a merry, joyous Christmas – with me as uninvolved as possible.
I received a call last Friday from one of my insurance representatives. This particular young woman works for a second tier company that provides several important products in our market. She lives in Wisconsin. She has been my contact for less than a year.
Dave, I called to thank you for your most recent case. (Yes, this woman has so little to do that she has the time to call each of her agents every time they write even the smallest of sales)
Well, (in an overly cheerful and way too familiar fashion) do you have all of your Christmas shopping done?
Um, yeah. (I confess that I was multi-tasking and thus unprepared for her question.) I’m Jewish. We don’t do Christmas.
After an uncomfortable pause, she again thanked me for the case and said good-bye.
I almost felt badly for her. Her last job may have been on a farm. The company is inMilwaukee, but she could be commuting from the hinterlands.
There were about 40 emails waiting for me Tuesday morning. One of them was a hallmark e-card from the rep. I figured that this was going to be her way of making amends. I clicked on the link and got
A CHRISTMAS CARD!
I can’t make this up. It was cute and cartoony and there wasn’t a hint of Jesus or religion to be seen, but it was still a Christmas card.
Someone tactless and spiteful might have sent her a card for Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, or something equally foreign to her. Not me. Why bother? Her world consists of two types of people: those who have turkey on Thanksgiving and those who serve ham, too.
So instead of sending her a dollar’s worth of chocolate Hanukkah gelt, I will take a deep breath, smoke a cigar, and wish all of you a wonderful December no matter how you choose to spend it.