T’was the night before Christmas….

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse….

Joy to the World

I was asked recently, “Is the religious part of your subculture existing in harmony with the societal influence in which you function?” This question was posed to me by a friend. I had mentioned that around Christmas time I play both Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs.

I should perhaps explain myself. I am, by heritage, approximately 30% Jewish. I am 3rd generation Latin American and I have lived in Australia the majority of my life. I have quite a great mix in me.

I enjoy an array of festive music from the traditional carols, to the not so traditional ones. Such as Christmas songs based on the Australian Christmas perspective. This is a true Aussie Xmas song from one of our favourite Aussie sons, Adam Brand. Some people just won’t get it, I guess you just have to be Strayan to appreciate it….

Santa’s Gonna Come on a Surfboard

I find an amazing amount of joy in the ‘festive season’. It is not about the gifts. It is about the happiness and joyfulness of the music that surrounds us – the love it brings with it at this time of year. Although there are many radical extremist scrooges in this world, they will NEVER stop the joy and the goodness of so many people. The experience and the show of love along with peace and goodwill to all men, women and children no matter of what race, creed, gay or straight, is something some people might never understand which is very sad really.

Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ and hope… or perhaps just commercialism – I’m not quite sure anymore. BUT! What I do know is that it is a time to spend with family and friends; eat and drink (way too much) and then spend Boxing Day recovering on the lounge and eating leftovers (for the next week or 2) …. Or going to the Boxing Day Sales (to buy lots of stuff you never really needed in the first place). Either way, it is a time to dress up, dress silly, have fun, reflect on the past 12 months, and plan and look forward to the new year.

Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah

Although Hanukkah (which has many ways of being spelt) also known as the Festival of Lights and the Festival of Dedication, is a lesser Jewish festival, it lasts eight days! It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is also a time of joy, blessings, and our faith in God.

Because Jewish festivals follow the Jewish calendar which is guided by the lunar cycle, Hanukkah does not necessarily land on the same date each year, although it is usually mid to late December.
Hanukkah is often thought of as the Jewish ‘Christmas’ but apart from some gift giving (but not to the same extent as Christians on Christmas) and the fact that they are usually fairly close to each date-wise, that is where any similarity ends.

Christmas is always on December 25. Hanukkah is also on the 25th but it is on the Hebrew month of Kislev. This year it commences 2nd December and runs until 10th December due to the lunar calendar.

So, I also listen to Christmas carols sung in Spanish, well at least partially,

Feliz Navidad

So, to answer the question, “Is the religious part of your subculture existing in harmony with the societal influence in which you function?” I am not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but I do feel a connection with my heritage. One side of my family is Jewish although I don’t think anyone really follows the traditions anymore (which is a bit sad) and the other side of the family are Christian. So, I get to enjoy both my religious part of my subculture which works very harmoniously with societal influence of which I am a part of. I personally though, believe in ‘doing no harm to others’, having said that, I am including some additional links to some other ‘chrissie’ carols and Hanukkah songs I listen to. Some may be a little ‘challenging’. I have not included too many of those…..

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to you and all your loved ones. May you stay safe, happy and truly blessed.

If you are interested in learning more about the differences between Christmas and Hanukkah, you can find out more at this website https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/how-are-hanukkah-and-christmas-different/