So, there I was, in one of this city's large, national, retail stores, searching for some piece of token Judaica.
If you don't know what that is, picture a Star of David pendant, menorah candles, blue-and-gold socks with "Jewish stars" on them, or even a teddy bear with a kippa (a yarmulke, rhymes with Hanukkah, otherwise known by the Gentiles as "beanies").
This well-known retailer that has two local stores had nothing relating to my non-Christian holiday, which began this Tuesday, Nov. 7, at sundown.
I went elsewhere. According to my aunt, also a Jew, she went to four other stores that also did not have anything related to the more-ancient-than-Christmas holiday of Hanukkah. My aunt found Hanukkah candles at Wal-Mart, by the way. Thanks, Sam Walton and empire.
Green and red and white all over, with familiar carols in the background -- believe, believe, believe.
Then, just when I thought all was well and we were ready for Hanukkah, my partner and I attempted to buy preparations for the first night's dinner, which we'll be sharing with Jewish and non-Jewish family members.
One major grocery retailer not only didn't have brisket, they did not have anything Jewish or Hanukkah-related. There was no Manischewitz section with matzo-ball mix, kosher items, candles -- nothin'.
The manager at that store was apologetic, saying that they had tried to get some products in, unsuccessfully. No kosher grape juice, no gefilte fish.
Go to King Soopers (can I say that name?). They have a whole section.
I am not one to feel persecuted or discriminated against for my heritage. I have not really practiced Judaism for a while now, but my partner is interested in converting. We're reviewing the customs and celebrating holidays.
This truly is the first year that I've found nothing pertaining to Hanukkah in certain stores at this time of year, and frankly, I'm disappointed and angered by this city's lack of culture and lack of respect for other cultures.
I will gladly wish people a Merry Christmas. I taught third grade, and (in spite of Fox News propaganda to the contrary) we sang Christmas carols, made cute little trees with tiny ornaments and recognized Christmas during that season. It was fun. I'm not complaining. Christmas is widely recognized throughout the public school system. I thought about putting a big Star of David on my desk but that seemed too "in-your-face" for Briargate.
I've accepted that I'll be inundated with inane, repetitive, religious carols for two full months. It is Christmas season. It is also the season for a number of other holidays (Kwanzaa, winter solstice, Hanukkah, and others) that many Christians are too xenophobic (look it up) to recognize.
As such, I have compiled a list of stores I will no longer be supporting. E-mail me if you're interested, at firstname.lastname@example.org. My non-Christian money is just as good as other money, but I will give it to businesses that have greater respect for the global community in which we live.
Megan E. Hauser is a liberal Jewish artist/musician turned tech-support professional who lives in Colorado Springs.