Notes On the Holiday Season

Wednesday, December 2, 2009 | 4 Comment(s)

Today is December 1st (actually its technically 12:18am on the 2nd, but please forgive) and with December comes "the holiday season."  While many stores believe this "season" begins right around Halloween (GET OFF MY HOLIDAY'S LAWN!), I think we can all agree that by the beginning of the 12th month its open season on Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Capitalism/Shop-o-saurus Rex.  And as this period always seems to highlight my one minority status (officially listed as "Jewboy"), I thought I might give you majority members a peek behind the proverbial jew-curtain.

(Can you blame us for having an inferiority complex--look at that poor plastic menorah [pictured]next to that tree--they should have, like, 25 menorahs per tree to make it REALLY even.  And while im at it, I don't see any presents by the "Jewish Side" of the display.  Maybe if I take Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, they'll toss that blue-ish present under the tree my way)


1.  Do not make the "Christmas is no longer a religious holiday" argument.  No matter how you celebrate it personally, you can't take the Christ out of Christmas.  Literally.  Without it its just 'Mas'.  And in Spanish it literally translates to 'more Christ' (i just made that up.  but is it true?).  No matter how much you try to rationalize it, Christmas will never be a holiday celebrated by Jews.  It may be celebrated by Jews with Christian friends, and that's fan-friggin-tastic.  But no group of all Jews throws Christmas parties.  Cause Christmas is a religious holiday.  It's a fact.

2.  When you grow up with a HUGE 6-story wreath (also Christian--always) hung off the side of the bank, you get Jewish people who are a little sensitive about Christmas decorations on public property.  Do we go overboard? Absolutely.  But, have churches put up nativity scenes in park square.  Also absolutely.

3.  This one is for my father's benefit.  If your oncologist is Jewish and you are coming in for treatment, I wouldn't wish him a 'very Merry Christmas.'  Why poke that particular bear?

4.  Only tangentially related but; don't schedule the Michigan (my favorite college team) vs. UMass (my current institution) football game on Yom Kippur.  COME ON PEOPLE!!!!!

5.  You don't have to apologize for being excited about Christmas in front of Jews.  I love Christmas decorations on people's houses.  In high school we would cruise the streets that had particularly good light shows (again, i was a baaaaad boy).  Hanukkah isn't the silver medal or consolation prize.  I friggin love Hannukah.  My family has a pretty intense, heated (pun), and absolutely serious competitions] to see who can guess which candle will go out last.

* tangent.  if i don't write about this now it would soon appear in the comments section written by my brother from his fiancee's account.  So i'll save him the trouble.  In hebrew grade school my brother made a menorah out of a scrap wood and nuts (as in nuts of "nuts and bolts" fame you sickos).  He then took a brief sojourn to Hades and made a deal with the Devil (also Christian) that he would suffer the humiliation of being forever shorter than his younger brother and in return his menorah would be infused with the magical power of never-ending candle flames.  That fucking thing kept candles going forever.  Brian (my brother) reigned Hanukkah candle wars for some time until he realized his life may be in jeopardy and he retired the glittery piece of hellfire.  Every friggin Hanukkah, bar NONE, of my life (to present), i have had to hear Brian talk about this fucking piece of shit menorah.  It haunts my dreams.  On a related note, i am noticeably taller but a number of inches. end tangent*

We give and get presents, you give and get presents.  It's an all around good time.  So lets cool it with those sad-eyed looks.   On a related note, when you are giving me a present, its a "Hanukkah gift." (as opposed to here is your Christmas Gift).  Tis the season of giving folks, you defer to the gift receiver's religion.  That's why I'm not giving you a Hanukkah gift.

6.  There is something called "The Matzah Ball."  And you should know about it.  In many major metropolitan areas, on Christmas Eve, major clubs are rented out and Jews frolic to this kosher meat market one night only fire-sale.  My tall blond Christian friend and I went in Boston one year and the experience was, well, memorable.  It was like sleep away summer camp all condensed into one night + gallons of alcohol + numerous dashes of desperation + the vision of meeting a "mensch."  It was like grinding gefilte fish into a barrel.  I was pretty sure that if i introduced myself as a doctor i could have gone home with anyone there--male or female.  Hey.  It's just the feeling i got.  Also, with all those Jews raving it up, I couldn't help but feel like it was a scene out of some Jewish version of Blade (a vampire flick) where at some predetermined moment all the Jews stare at the one non-Jew (let's say my friend) and proceed to feed on him.  I love me some white meat.

I'm gonna stop there.  I don't want to come off bitter instead of witty and hilarious.

To end with a belly laugh I give you the sequence of events in which by not getting me a dog as a child my parents unknowingly delayed the imaginary birth of their currently non-existent, but already verbally asked for, grandchild.  Enjoy:

Parents don't get me a dog -----> Son feels emptiness around never having an animal companion (fish don't count) --------> Later in life, when son may have otherwise been feeling the impulse to nurture new life into the world, instead he feels the need for animal companionship-------->Son gets dog instead of having kids.  Suck on that Harvey.  It's your own damn fault.  Love,  mattitiyahu.


  1. Hmmmm, guess parakeets don't count then...

  2. Hello mother or father. Parakeets don't count because A) You can't hug a parakeet. Well, you can, but it's frowned upon. and B) Because if you have a parakeet for 3 days and end up in the hospital with an allergy attack and have to get rid of it, you never really had it in the first place. Thanks for you input though!!!!

  3. hey matt, this is not brian this time. it's nora, brian's fiance. I just wanted to say that the menorah brian made when he was a kid, better known as the Dominator, has, in its retirement, been serving meals in soup kitchens, helping NASA build up its space program, raising funds for obama and the arts and the infirm, joining various think tanks regarding the middle east peace process, curing cancer, ozone depletion, and AIDS, walking three-legged dogs, and donating to locks of love (because the Dominator, i'm sure you know, has incredible amounts of hair, like, overflowing amounts). The usual. Just keeping the Hanukkah light in all of our souls never-endingly lit. Just helping us all feel . . . I don't know . . . a little bit . . . I can't think of the right word . . . oh yeah . . . taller. (this is brian by the way.)

  4. and now you all know how it feels.