The cards keep coming. The other day we got a beautiful CD compilation of Xmas music hand-picked by a friend of ours from Toronto. It was nicely packaged what with a photo of their daughter on the front and a custom-made wrap on the CD itself. Professionally printed Xmas cards pile up from vendors, clients, and friends. Friends’ children bring hand-made and elaborate Xmas cards to our daughter. Everywhere I look I see wreaths and jewels and red and green lights. Kids television programming is non-stop Xmas. Any time we visit friends, mounds and mounds of chocolate, cookies, cakes and other sweets are piled around along with nuts, fruit, cheese, and breads. Xmas music fills the ears at the mall. Good cheer. And websites everywhere have re-decorated to accommodate the appropriate seasonal color scheme. Even money itself looks green and red these days. It all adds up to incredible anxiety on my part. Are we doing enough? Do we have enough chocolate on hand for our visiting neighbors? Did I buy enough gifts for everyone? Who did we leave out? What about me? What if they find out we’re Jewish? What then? Is New Year’s part of Xmas? Will I seem too Jewish if I work during my vacation time? Are my cats Christian? One came from Poland so I suppose so. The other is from upstate New York. He’s Christian, right? What color really represents Chanukah, anyway? Hey, and how do you really spell that holiday? And why do Jews have to have gold-foiled chocolate gelt (money) to give to their kids. It comes in little bags. Could there be anything more shameful and fun and sterotypical? Why does it have to be money? Do we have enough candles for the menorahs? What about wrapping paper? There’s never enough wrapping paper. We ran out of tape for the gifts. And we didn’t send out cards. Does that make us look irresponsible? Who should I call about the loud Xmas music emanating from a car nearby? Is that a dog? A dog with a Xmas wreath around its neck? What if I’m sick during New Year’s? Will that ruin the holiday for me and everyone? Hey, look, another dog!