O Christmas Tree

December 29th, 2010 | Category: News

O Christmas TreeI didn’t have a Christmas tree when I was a kid. I was envious of all the Christian kids with their houses decorated in colourful holiday lights. We spent weeks leading up to holidays singing Christmas songs and making decorations to take home, but I wasn’t allowed to put them up. At the crack of dawn on Christmas morning I’d run over to my best friend’s house and wake her up so I could watch her open the presents Santa miraculously dropped off during the night. Then I would return home and figure out how to spend the rest of my day. Most Jewish kids got takeaway Chinese food and then went to the movies.Rockefeller Center

A couple of weeks after Christmas, all over neighbouring streets in town, lay discarded Christmas trees. Many still glittered with tinsel. One year, I dragged the shiniest tree down the road and managed to get it up the three flights of stairs of our house and into the living room. I then propped it up with stacks of books and gave it water. When my parents returned home and recovered from laughing they said I had to remove it from the house before my grandparents arrived for dinner.

I dragged it down the three flights of stairs leaving a trail of glistening tinsel and placed it at our curb. The tree stayed there another week waiting for the next rubbish collection. All our Jewish neighbours gossiped that we celebrated Christmas after all.

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