Is there such thing as a Jewish Christmas?
The common perception is that we don’t celebrate on Dec. 25. We just sit at home watching the frivolity through frosty windows, etching a sad face where our breath has fogged up the glass. But there are actually some advantages to being a Jew on Jesus’s birthday.
1. Dinner and a movie.
Jews do celebrate Christmas–at the movies and Chinese restaurants.
It’s no secret: The theater is like temple on Dec. 25. They even show Jewish versions of all the movies like “The Wolfes of Wall Street,” “The Desolation of Schmucks” and “Mr. Banks’ Savings.”
We see every movie on Christmas. We only buy one ticket, but we see EVERY movie. We use a ticket like a season lift pass and sneak into the next movie with Chinese food in our womens’ purses.
2. Ugly Sweater Contests
For Jews, the ugly sweater contest at holiday parties is a breeze. Our grandmothers own treasure troves of these gaudy garments from circa 1988-1992, the golden age of both hip hop and ugly sweaters.
Here I am as a champion with my friend since 9th grade, Mark. He’s a fancy, international lawyer, Fullbright Scholar and White House Fellow. In high school, he was voted Most Likely to Succeed and I was Most Fashionable. Nothing has changed.
Since Jews usually don’t have family plans on Xmas, we make great candidates for things like serving food to the homeless. This year, I volunteered at the Laugh Factory with several of my comedian friends. Five out of seven pictured here are members of the Tribe!
4. Jewish Comedy Shows
For Jewish comedians, Christmas is a goldmine! With almost every bar and club closed, temples and Chinese restaurants become the most entertaining games in town. They all have creative names like Chopschticks, Kung Pao Comedy and Moo Shu Jew. I had the pleasure of performing for Temple Shomrei Torah’s Erev Christmas Comedy Night in West Hills, CA this year.
5. Resolution Jumpstart
Most people save their New Year’s resolutions until after Christmas, but us Jews celebrated our new year in September during Rosh Hashannah. We’re way ahead by the time Dec. 25 rolls around. Merry Fitness!
Even with all these advantages of being Jewish on Xmas, there are still a few disadvantages.
Here’s a text I received on Christmas.
2-555. Feeling Left Out
Yes, I started this post dismissing the notion of Santa envy. But the fact is, every kid without a Christmas tree felt left out until Adam Sandler’s “Chanukkah Song” made them feel like they belonged to something. So, my pal Lisa Schwartz and I commiserate on the rest of the disadvantages of being Jewish during the holidays in this music video, “Schwartz on Xmas.” Bah, Humberg!