I am a person of a Jewish cultural background, but I would like to be on record as saying that Christmas is fine with me. Now that you know that, all you Gentiles can look forward to a joyful day without worrying about offending me.
I know there’s been a lot of talk in recent years about a “war on Christmas,” and how various groups have exerted pressure on governments and businesses to genericize the season, just as supermarkets have done to canned peaches.
So we’ve had “winter celebrations” and “holiday parades” and Starbucks’ seasonal cups are just red and green, without so much as a snowflake.
Again, as a Jew, I’d like to say that the super-sensitive groups who have caused this are meshuganah.
I happen to think that no government at any level in America should celebrate Christmas because I happen to think that no government in America should be associated with any religion. But that ship sailed a long time ago, in 1870, when Christmas Day became one of the first four federal holidays. Besides, Christmas has pretty much transcended its religious roots.
Whether businesses should acknowledge Christmas or not is entirely up to them. If it’s good for business, they should. For most stores, it is. For Menorah Mart, maybe not.
The thing is, Christmas is fun. As a Jew, I would like to say that I enjoy sparkly things like tinseled trees and tastefully decorated houses. Jewish holidays are not fun, because they all commemorate something disastrous or nearly so. Purim, for instance, which is supposed to be one of the funnest holidays on the Jewish calendar, celebrates the fact that some guy named Haman didn’t manage to kill all the Jews of ancient Persia. And Hanukah, according to Wikipedia, commemorates “the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire.”*
Also, Jewish holidays tend not to be full of fun traditional activities. Besides lighting the menorah each night of Hanukah, the two main festivities, again according to Wikipedia, are “playing dreidel and eating oil-based foods.”
And we wonder why people hate us!
Look, even if the government wanted to recognize Jewish holidays, we don’t make it easy. Christmas: December 25. Same day, every year. Hanukah seems like it can fall anytime between Halloween and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This makes it difficult for TV networks to schedule all their holiday specials.
And, anyway, nobody knows how to spell it. One website has compiled a list of 16 different spellings, complete with a scorecard of how many hits you get when you Google each:
- Hanukkah : 8,470,000 hits.
Chanukah : 3,390,000 hits.
Hanukah : 862,000 hits.
Hannukah : 677,000 hits.
Chanuka : 335,000 hits.
Chanukkah : 274,000 hits.
Hanuka : 192,000 hits.
Channukah : 128,000 hits.
Chanukka : 116,000 hits.
Hanukka : 86,300 hits.
Hannuka : 51,400 hits.
Hannukkah : 37,300 hits.
Channuka : 33,600 hits.
Xanuka : 992 hits.
Hannukka : 686 hits.
Channukkah : 508 hits.
Channukka : 489 hits.
Chanuqa : 25 hits.
So, in conclusion, I would like to give everyone, regardless of religion, the freedom to celebrate Christmas.
And, as a Jew, I would like to point out that Santa kinda looks like a rabbi.
See you soon.
*As depicted in the film Star of David Wars Episode X: The Seleucid Empire Strikes Back.