There is an article in a Jewish magazine featuring an interview with Jon Stewart, of Daily Show fame, on being Jewish. An interesting quote from the article (from memory, so not verbatim):
I bet every Jew around Christmas has thought at least once, “So you’re celebrating the birth of your savior? We’re celebrating that oil lasted longer than we thought it would.”
I’m in the middle of a pretty hefty class on Jewish history in the Greco-Roman Period, so my first thought was “well, it’s more of a propagandist recognition of the legitimacy of the Hasmonean high priesthood, and don’t get me started on Christmas.” Then I remembered how good I feel about humanity during Hanukkah and Christmas, and how much I enjoy the opportunity to spread a little extra love around. Then I wondered why I don’t just do that all the time. I hope my education never turns me into a cynic.