by Jonathan Weinblatt
What’s all this “Christ-mas” I keep hearing about? Do the Mexicans want more Jesus? I thought the Christian celebration was called “Holidays.” You know, as in “Happy Holidays.” But seriously, it’s nice to see Christmas making a comeback. I guess Americans thought it would be more PC to say “Happy holidays,” since saying “Merry Christmas” might be offensive to Jews and African-Americans. Yeah, as if Chanukah and Kwanzaa are real holidays. It’s not like Jesus was born on Chanukah or Kwanzaa.
You know, I think most Jews actually like Christmas. In fact, I recently conducted a survey of some Penn students (5 Jews and 1 Christian, if you must know), and the results demonstrated conclusively that Jews like Christmas music more than Christians do. Carole of the Bells by Trans-Siberian Orchestra is one of my favorite songs. I’m not even kidding. Please don’t tell my parents. I’m not kidding about that either.
I could talk about the Jewish tradition of Chinese food and a movie on Christmas, but let’s be honest, we’re Penn students. You already know about that. In fact, you probably know more about that than about what Chanukah celebration entails. Let’s see, how could I make it easy to understand. Well, just like Christmas, it involves presents. Like Kwanzaa, it involves lighting candles. Like St. Patrick’s Day, it involves the eating of potato pancakes. Like Diwali, it involves eating jelly doughnuts. (Too soon?)
Beyond the traditions, there are also Chanukah myths. Unlike Christmas, Chanukah does NOT involve the use of holiday shrubbery. The Chanukah bush isn’t real. Actually, the Christmas tree isn’t really based in tradition either. While we’re on the subject, Santa Claus isn’t real. You know, I don’t even believe in Jesus. Take that, Campus Crusade for Christ!
But when you’re home over break and you see your friendly neighborhood Jew, wish him a “Merry Christmas” and sing him a carol. Just don’t harass him about why he neglected to put up his Christmas lights and Nativity scene. That’s downright bigoted.