Not My House This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   It's that time of yearagain.

Colored lights glitter at every house; garish reindeer, sledsand plastic Santas adorn yards. Everywhere you go it's Merry Christmas, Season'sGreetings, and Have a Happy Holiday (but you know which one theymean).

It's Christmas time, but for someone who doesn't celebrateChristmas, it's time to be different. I celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival ofLights (ironically, there are Christmas lights everywhere).

People say allholidays are accepted here, so why isn't there a Menorah next to the Christmastree in front of the White House? Why are the season's colors red and green? Whydo cashiers say "Merry Christmas" beginning the day afterThanksgiving?

This is a time to feel like I don't belong. Christmas has becomepart of the American culture. It's as normal as dripping ice-cream pops on thebeach in summer or the Fourth of July.

It's something you get used to,living in this country. I resist, though, out of an innate fear that my holidaywill be swallowed up by the magnitude that is Christmas. I don't want to lose myindividualism.

And I won't - because mine is the only house on the blockwithout Christmas lights.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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