It's always a little odd being a Jew in New York during the Christmas season. Despite all the political correctness in our midst, it really is still Christmas season. No doubt about it. Christmas decorations, Christmas trees, Christmas music . . .
But yesterday I saw it. A sign from above that, yes, it is Chanukah season here too. As I was smack in the middle of Herald Square (which might as well be Christmas central), I heard the tinkling of "Rock of Ages" being played over a loudspeaker. I turned, and in all its glory was -- The Mitzvah Tank.
For those of you who aren't in the know, the Mitzvah Tank has been around since 1974, prompting Jews to do good deeds, or mitzvot. Now, I don't know if it makes more appearances during Chanukah, but it was a comforting sight nonetheless. Later in the evening, I also saw a jeep-like vehicle with a large, blue menorah strapped to the top. It was one of those moments when I really wish I had my digi-cam with me. Damn.
I have never done the "traditional" Jewish Christmas of movies and Chinese food, so this year, I am going to Makor to watch Woody Allen movies and eat Chinese food with fellow Members of the Tribe. I am seriously considering following that with going to the Knitting Factory to see What I Like About Jew, a parody rock revue with a Jewish flair, with songs such as "Hanukah with Monica" (She put that age-old myth to bed - 'bout Jewish girls not giving head). Oh yeah.
Granted, as a Jew, I have never felt truly left out during Christmas. My stepfather isn't Jewish, so I always have Christmas eve with him and my mom, and Christmas day with my (step?) aunt and cousins. Basically, it's the best of both worlds. Happy Chanukah everyone -- even the goyim!