Moncton — Dreading the familial closeness and jolly customs that typically come with the holiday season, 14-year-old Grant Snider has found a unique way to opt out.
Snider says that his mother has always told him that she’d love and respect his decisions, no matter who or what he chooses to be. Now, he says, he thinks it’s time to put her permissiveness to good use.
“Well, it’s like, no matter what excuse I used to give, I still had to participate in all the stupid family stuff every year,” said Grant, shrugging. “Now, all I gotta do is go ‘I’m Jewish,’ and Mom doesn’t say shit.”
“Oh, I support his decision one hundred per cent,” said Angela Snider, Grant’s mother, in a separate interview. “I’m so glad that he’s choosing to follow his own spiritual path, and I want to try to foster and encourage him as much as I can. I certainly don’t want to force him to do anything that doesn’t feel right.”
Not only has Grant’s recent conversion exempted him from all “boring” family traditions such as tree-trimming, carolling and making cookies for Santa, but Angela has also attempted to make every effort to respect his beliefs and include his own religious traditions into the family customs.
“She went straight out and bought a bunch of Jewish stuff,” said Grant, laughing, as he shuffled through the many Jewish artifacts Angela had brought home. “This little hat thing, this big candle thing, whatever the eff this thing is…”
Angela’s eagerness to support her son’s newfound religious values led her to seek a meeting with a local rabbi in order to find some guidance in pushing her son in the right direction. Rabbi Leib advised her to counsel Grant to help him become more indoctrinated in the faith. They agreed to schedule lessons to prepare for a bar mitzvah. Angela rushed home to tell her son the good news.
“In my mind, I was like, ‘Fuck. That. No way they’re cutting a hole in my dick,’” said Grant. “So I told her I was actually a Muslim now, and so now I hate all that Jewish stuff. Then she went and threw it all out! Like, ‘Oh my god, I’m sooo sorry, sweetie!’ It was hilarious.”
The reporter asked Grant how he felt about about the fact that many Muslims don’t participate in giving or receiving gifts during the holiday season.
“Hold up. For real?” said Grant. “What about Scientologists? Do they get presents? Whatever. I’ll find one that works. Don’t worry about it.”