When I was a boy and Christmas came around, my happiest chore was to unbox a small artificial Christmas tree and set it up on the night table in the bedroom I shared with my brother. I loved to plug it in and look at the beautiful colored lights — they made me feel so safe at night, protected against the dark. We were Jews living in a building that was largely made up of Jewish families in an Italian neighborhood and I think my parents were afraid of the neighbors knowing that we celebrated Christmas (although my brother and I received Channukah presents, too). I never wanted December to end — not so much for the presents, as wonderful as they were, but for the bright, colored lights which somehow eased all the anxiety and tension I felt growing up in a household beset by so many financial and emotional problems. I still feel that way about the Christmas lights today.
Please share what the holidays were like for you, too.