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A Cantor At Christmastime

It was a good question in response to a good question. 

Original question posted by me on my Facebook page: "In no particular order, favorite Christmas movies. Mine: Love Actually, Alastair Sim's Christmas Carol (aka Scrooge), Holiday Inn, White Christmas, Meet Me In St. Louis (Judy, of course), A Charlie Brown Christmas. Discuss."

Response from a rabbi colleague: A Christmas Story, and Charlie Brown Christmas. (And what are a rabbi and a cantor doing discussing favorite Christmas movies with a bunch of Jews?)

It's pretty simple: It's not our holiday but we we may as well enjoy it since it's everywhere. It sounds and looks really pretty, and it's fun to observe what's going on. It's the 366th day of the year, the delicious day-off-without-guilt (except on Shabbat, but that's another story) when my family is usually all at home, and we can just enjoy ourselves. 

As a synagogue cantor who spends hours prepping for and leading Shabbat and Festival services, I rarely get a restful Shabbat or Festival dinner with my family; Christmas in the US gives the gift of serious family downtime. A relaxing dinner with no place and no need to go anywhere; a day off enjoying our December 25th traditions that have nothing to do with theology and everything to do with living in a country where the day is a legal holiday and most stores and businesses are closed. 

By the way, for the record: A Christmas Story seems to be heading the list followed closely by It's a Wonderful Life. 

To those of my friends and readers who will celebrate Christmas, I wish you a blessed holiday full of joy and God's love.



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