My Post-Divorce Relationship Takes on Christmas
(Spoken to the rhythm of ’Twas The Night Before Christmas)
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and I felt kinda blue-ish;
It was the first time I wished that I wasn’t so Jewish.
My boyfriend, a 7th Day Adventist he,
Was bouncing off walls filled with merry and glee.
He was wrapping up gifts and caroling carols,
Making hot cider and eggnog by the barrels.
“Could we have Christmas at your house?” last week he had asked;
“My mom called to say she’s not up to the task.”
“Of course,” I’d said sweetly, but inside I was balking.
All I know of Christmas would not fill a stocking.
Me with my latkes, menorahs, Oy Vey!
To me Christmas Eve’s just a late shopping day.
It’s okay, I thought, I’ve got one week to cram,
As Sean called from the kitchen, “We’ll just order a ham.”
“I’m Kosher,” I cried, “You can’t serve pig here!”
“It’s tofu,” he said, “they’re all vegans, my dear.”
Oh, yes, I’d forgotten what Adventists eat.
So, an all-dairy Christmas, with mystery meat.
He added, “No dreidel – that’s a gambling game.
My whole family will die of original shame.”
“We’ll just keep it simple, straightforward, low-key,
They won’t even notice there isn’t a tree.”
“We’ll sit around talking, sharing Christmases past.
We’ll sing, we’ll play cards – honey, you’ll have a blast.”
“What? No dancing? No drinking? No family feuds?
What this party needs is a few boisterous Jews.”
As if right on cue, there arose such a clatter,
I set down the blintzes to see what was the matter.
Outside it was snowing, but sloshing right through
Was my whole friggin’ family – surprise! The Jew Crew.
My brother Avromi and his second ex-wife,
Who can’t tell a clean story to save her own life.
Behind her I saw Uncle Ben and Aunt Sable,
Soon they’d be drinking us under the table.
There’s Moisha and Sasha and Bubby and Zada,
All with their doggy bags to take some “fuh laytah.”
My mom and my dad with a car full of toys —
I prayed that they wouldn’t call anyone “goys.”
My stomach was churning, Oh! What a disaster!
Could Christmas Eve please just this once go by faster?
Before I could faint, Sean’s own family arrived,
Spiritual and sober — I just prayed they’d survive.
My sister Shoshana slaps them all on the back,
And tells them she’s no longer addicted to crack.
My gay nephew Aaron hits on Sean’s younger brother;
My father – who’s 80 – tries to French kiss Sean’s mother.
As Sean’s folks milled around I heard one of them say,
“How the hell do they do this each year for eight days?”
But Sean’s family’s not shaken, they’re still very formal.
They gotta be thinking: This makes our family seem normal.
My boyfriend just hugs me and kisses my head.
“See honey?” he says, “So far no one’s dead.”
“We’re all here together, there was nothing to fear.
“Hey, all!” he yells suddenly, “same place next year!”
You have to be kidding, my thoughts nearly burst,
No Christmas here next year, I’ll kill myself first.
But at the end of the night as the little ones yawn,
And I take back my jewelry they’d stolen to pawn,
I have to admit my eyes feel a slight mistness,
When my son cries, “I’m Jewish, but I’m glad you’re all Christmas!”