Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Neutering of the Holidays

[image: petite fours]

    I know that my title is really a bit overdone, but the fact is that we (Americans, Israelis, Christians, and Jews) have seemed to lose all contact with the essence of our holidays.
    Last week brought all the "black Friday" sales in the US.  With large lines.  I heard that some stores were already open on Thanksgiving (pity the employees…). And in Israel the gastronomic excess of the Hanukkah holidays is already abundant.  As I pass the donuts display in our local grocery, I wonder who is already willing, a week and a half before the holiday, to start downing  jelly donuts.
    Now I'm not saying that giving gifts is bad, nor eating holiday delectables. But things have blossomed entirely out of control.
   This week I bought the weekly woman's magazine, as I often do.  There was already a holiday recipe section, replete with fancy cakes and exquisite decorations.  And, naturally it was a dieter's nightmare. I immediately vowed that I would not even try ONE dish, they were all way beyond the pale as far as my eating plan is concerned. But what bothered me more was the elaborate amount of work that nearly all the dishes entailed. We are raising a generation of young women  who not only have to be a size XXS, but who work full time, raise a family, AND are expected to be able to bring gourmet deserts to the family party. 
   At what price?
   Is Hanukkah really about fancy gifts, fancy chocolate petite fours, and designer tables? None of these things are bad or evil in and of themselves. But taken together, the emphasis on doing something that will "WOW" our guests, impress our relatives, etc. can oh so easily be overdone. And I myself am not immune to this. But we are taking this just way too far.
   Wouldn't be better to spend two hours baking cookies with our grand-kids  rather than cooking up delicacies that are way too fattening and cholesterol-ridden anyway?


Cindy said...

I completely agree. I had friends that shopped on Black Friday, I wouldn't DREAM of going out that day (night!)

I have a little marker in my Bible that says, 'Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks.' It's a great reminder to me to not get caught up in the things of this world. It can be so easy to do.

Batya said...

So true, the core of the holiday is hidden by the material excesses.