Last year, my Inner Frenchman (let's call him "LeClerc,") was dispatched to the only store that carried Hebrew supplies--displayed on about 2 feet of shelf space wedged between the Jarritos Tamarind Soda and the Kikkomam Plum Sauce in the ethnic foods aisle--to pick up Hanukkah candles. LeClerc, regretting that he hadn't thought to order them online earlier, left for what he surely thought would be a fools errand.
My inner Frenchman was pleasantly surprised to see that the store carried them. Now, he could be his family's hero, like that time he brought an honest to God, New York style, kosher corned beef on rye sandwich back from Seattle. It was going to be a good day.
The cashier at the check out stand sensed LeClerc's joy and, seeing the candles, attempted to lift his ethnic holiday spirits by greeting the happy Frenchman with a hearty "Happy Hanukkah."
A chorus of groans immediately erupted from the line behind LeClerc, and the big, red-faced man two people back angrily growled, "It's Christmas; say Merry Christmas, goddammit."
Once again, LeClerc was reminded that his wife, daughters, and grandson were outsiders, others, secondary citizens who were only technically American. Defeated, he paid for his candles, wished the cashier a joyous Kwanzaa, and slunk his way back to his Hebrew home.
And the Jesused chalked up another victory in the War on Christmas.