Don’t Hate Me For Rejecting Your Holiday

The season touted as “the most wonderful time of the year” is my least favorite. I’ve found a few things I can appreciate about December (BBC specials, Star Wars film releases, Hanukkah, sales on baking ingredients). But mostly the unrelenting holiday cheer blaring from radios and dripping from public locations tries my soul.

Even though I don’t keep Christmas I try not to be a Grinch about it (which, by definition, means a person “who is mean-spirited and unfriendly” and “spoils or dampens the pleasure of others”). If you wish me a “Merry Christmas” I’ll just smile and thank you. I might even appreciate it because I understand the sentiment behind your greeting. I’m certainly not going to launch into a rant about how much Christmas offends me or how insensitive you are to assume everyone keeps Christmas.

But for some reason, not enjoying/keeping Christmas  horrifies some people. In an age where people go nuts if someone tries to “cram your religion down my throat,” you can still be shamed for not keeping Christmas. And I think that’s weird. Don't Hate Me For Rejecting Your Holiday |

Here’s one example of people “grinch-ing” someone for not being Christmassy enough. Yesterday I saw an article from Young Conservatives critiquing the fact that the Obama’s final White House Christmas card doesn’t feature the White House and wasn’t explicitly Christmas related. “It’s basically a ‘Holiday’ card,” they wined, “because writing the word ‘Christmas’ would hurt too many feelings.” Apparently, their feelings were hurt by the leader of a very diverse country trying to cover all the winter holidays observed by the people he’s leading.

It’s not just articles from biased political sites about public figures. It’s the unrelenting Christmas music for a full month on the radio. It’s the pressure to enjoy the decorations and participate in the “spirit of Christmas.” It’s when you say don’t keep Christmas and someone shoots back “Couldn’t you just go caroling?” or “Don’t you love Jesus?”

I don’t really deal with much pressure to keep Christmas. Most of the people I attend church with don’t keep Christmas either (a few Messianics do, but most people I know gave up Christmas when they discovered God’s holy days). When people ask, I’ll explain why I don’t keep Christmas. Mostly, though, I just try to ignore it. But I still see people, mostly online, talking about Christmas and shaming those who don’t get into the seasonal spirit. I don’t care if you want to keep Christmas. I’d just like a little space peacefully not keep it without being bombarded with holiday cheer that makes me feel anything but merry.





Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe at
Caramel Apple Cheesecake

I made this cheesecake for a potluck last week. It is my favorite cheesecake for fall, and also works well as a winter dessert. Since trying it with this oatmeal crust, I’ve stopped using graham crackers at all for this cheesecake. This crust works well for other fruit cheesecakes and can be used with a New York style cheesecake.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

print this recipe

Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe at
Crushing up almonds for the crust


1-1/2 cups quick oats, uncooked

1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or pecans

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe at
No need to butter the pan — this crust doesn’t stick

Combine, mix well and press into 9-inch spring-form pan.


2 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe at
Be careful when spreading the batter. It sometimes pulls up the crust if moved around too much.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with electric mixer until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing at low speed after each addition. Pour over crust.


4 cups peeled apples, thinly sliced

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Caramel Apple Cheesecake recipe at
Sprinkle the topping evenly

Toss apples with combined sugar and cinnamon. Spoon apple mixture over cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with pecans.

Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Drizzle with caramel ice-cream topping just before serving.