Christmas is Santa Appreciation Night for this family

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Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and I have my father to thank for that. Growing up, both of my parents were Jewish … I even had a Bat Mitzvah! However for as long as I can remember, my father had the whole family celebrating his own special holiday: Santa Appreciation Night.

My father is an only child and was always jealous of all of the kids in his neighborhood that got to celebrate Christmas. Perhaps if my dad had a sibling, they could have bonded over being the only kids in town that didn’t celebrate Christmas.  However that was not the case, and all my father knew was that once he had a family of his own, he would be able to join the masses and celebrate the holiday that everyone loves so dearly.

Sure, we have Chanukah, but what can I say, it’s just not the same.

Once my dad was on his own and could do whatever he pleased, he chose to create his own holiday that everyone could celebrate, Santa Appreciation Night.

Santa Appreciation Night is a holiday celebrating the amazing Kris Kringle. According to my dad, Kris Kringle was simply a great guy that loved to give, and brought that out in others.  He explained that every year during the holiday season, the spirit of Kris Kringle brought out the kindness and generosity of many, making this the most special time of year.

For the first quarter of my life, we celebrated Santa Appreciation Night with a Chanukah bush, and it was truly beautiful.  We did something to the tree called “flocking,” which made it look like it had just been snowed on. We then decorated it with only white and blue balls, and a blue and white Star of David on top of the tree.

The Griswold House from the movie, Christmas Vacation. "250 strands of lights, 100 bulbs per strand ..." (Photo is screen shot from movie)
The Griswold House from the movie, Christmas Vacation.
“250 strands of lights, 100 bulbs per strand …”
(Photo is screen shot from movie)

However once my dad got remarried to my step-mother who is Presbyterian, he decided go all out and switch to a more traditional Christmas tree.

It is so funny and ironic; my Dad is and has always been “Mr. Christmas.”  About ten years ago, my dad decorated our house to the lengths that Clark Griswald did in Christmas Vacation.  I am not even kidding.

He had our entire house strung with lights so brightly that you could see it from streets away. Some people were like, “Have you seen the Davidsons’ house?  It looks great, but aren’t they Jewish?”

My response would be, “Yea, we are.  But this is about a seriously cool guy named Kris Kringle, and how his spirit makes all of us a better people every holiday season.”  That shut them up real quick.

I am now sitting with my dad and siblings watching one of our holiday favorites, The Santa Clause.  We have already plowed through most of our holiday flicks like Trading Places, Miracle On 34th Street, Christmas Vacation, White Christmas … the list goes on and on.  But it really isn’t about what you are watching, it is about who you are watching it with, right?

The statue in front of City Hall in Santa Claus, Indiana. (Photo provided by author)
The statue in front of City Hall in Santa Claus, Indiana.
(Photo provided by author)

My family is sprawled all over the country, but mostly on the east coast and Midwest.  I live here in LA, and let me tell you, I put up a Christmas tree every year. Seriously, I go all out, and I don’t care that I had a Bat Mitzvah, this is my favorite time of year and I will yell it from the rooftop!

Like my father taught me, I think this time of year can bring out the best in people. I know that some really struggle with the holiday season, and I get that, I really do. With that being said, I am not even supposed to celebrate Christmas, but it is still my favorite holiday because of the way it makes me feel and what I see it bring out in me, and our society as a whole.

Since my family is now a mix of religions, us Davidsons are able to celebrate Christmas without any questions. But at the end of the day, it never mattered what people thought, what mattered was that we LOVE this holiday and being together.

Thank you Kris Kringle, for bringing our family together ever year in appreciation of you, and the generosity your spirit bestows on us all. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, Christmakuh, or perhaps your own version of Santa Appreciation Night, I wish you the happiest of holidays!