Is anyone else feeling off this Chanukah season?
Beginning tonight is the 1st of Kislev, and it’s hard for me to be excited about Chanukah, usually one of my favourite holidays. I work in retail, and generally I have a little Chanukah installation in a corner of the store. Being one of the only two Jews in my workplace, let alone the only openly Jewish one, it always makes me happy.
This year, as Christmas retail season officially begins here from November 12 onwards, my store manager hasn’t approached me this year about my decorating. Neither have I approached her about it either. I fear (and I assume that she feels the same way) that someone this year will steal, vandalise, or break my decorations, and it also looks partisan in the store, in a city of a high South Asian diaspora (of mainly Punjabi Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims).
I also didn’t really feel like decorating. Ever since the 7/10 happened, I have been having this existential dread about everything that is happening both in Israel and in the diaspora. Ironic, given the holiday of Chanukah is all about reclaiming the Land of Israel and our way of life. The videos that the terrorists posted on X have continued to flash in my mind, and I just don’t feel like I have any blissful, naive joy at the moment.
It’s ironic, having all these depressing thoughts while jingle jingle music cheerfully plays in the background of my store.