In many ways, this Christmas is no different from any other. I have my own little artificial tree with battery-powered fiber optics running through it. I've bought presents for most of the people on my relatively short list. Just like every year, I say I won't procrastinate this time. I say I'll get it all done early this time. And yet on Christmas Day, there are always one or two people I owe apologies to. So many excuses, so little time—we've all been there, one year or another. It's just that with me, it's every year.
But there's one thing remarkably different this year: I live with someone who has a really strange habit. Every evening at sundown for the past few nights, she has lit a candle and put it in some sort of strange metal candle-holder. And every night, she always lights one more candle than the night before. As if that's not weird enough, every time she does it, she starts singing something. It's the same chant every night, and it's in some foreign language that sounds very suspiciously Middle Eastern. To make matters even worse, the first word of what she's saying sounds very suspiciously like the first name of our president! (I always knew there was something definitively un-American about that guy. Just knew it.) I really, really doubt that's just coincidence. It must be some sort of secret signal that they're all using to undermine our God-fearing country.
As if that weren't bad enough, I also have to deal with her family and a lot of her friends. Christ is the reason for the season, after all. But these people? They consider it a holiday season, and of course it is, but they don't celebrate Christ! You can't wish them a merry Christmas without risking the possibility that they might look at your funny, or won't reciprocate your perfectly understandable best wishes. If they're not celebrating the birthday of Jesus, why are they all so happy around this time of year like the rest of us Americans? (Presuming that they even consider themselves Americans after all this nonsense.)
The worst part? I have to participate in all of this! I went with her to a service where they celebrated the new year in September. September! How un-American in that? I even had to wear some sort of strange circular cap on my head at the service. (On the bright side? Whoever came up with that combination of apples, honey and that delicious bread is an absolute genius.) Whoever these people are, they not only hate Christmas, they also hate the calendar. And I have to send out season's greetings cards that don't even mention, well, why we're having a holiday in the first place! I'm beginning to feel like a co-conspirator, like I'm aiding and abetting the enemies of Christmas and America. It's beginning to make me question why I'm in this relationship. And now, for the worst part: I live in Los Angeles, that unrepentant bastion of anti-American Hollywood liberalism. And it appears that she's far from the only one around here who maintains these bizarre anti-American traditions. It's as if they surround me.
But what really concerns me? In a couple of nights, that strange candelabra is going to be completely full. I have no idea what's going to happen the night after that. It's almost like a countdown of sorts. I think the storm is coming. And I'm afraid. But there's one thing that gives me comfort: I know that with a Republican president in the White House and Fox News feeding us the truth every day, we'll finally be able to say "Merry Christmas" instead of "happy holidays," and our special relationship with Israel will be stronger than ever because of that return to our Christian values.