My non-Jewish friends and relatives (particularly the secular ones) often say that Christmas isn’t religious.
Somerimes they’ll tell me there’s nothing wrong with Jews celebrating Christmas, since it’s achieved the status of a secular holiday in the 21st century.
I like some things about Christmas, but I don’t celebrate it. I do concede that the holiday has many secular elements. To me, though, any holiday rooted in pagan solstice celebrations, Nordic demigods, or the birth of a messiah (take your pick) cannot divorce itself from religion.
One of the messages of Chanukah is that Jews need to protect Judaism. Even though many of us have a tendency to assimilate, there are certain lines we shouldn’t cross – and celebrating Christmas is one of those lines, in my opinion.
How can I respond to “Christmas isn’t religious” claims in a way that defends Jewish beliefs and doesn’t make me look like a jerk?