Today is Christmas, perhaps the ultimate holiday for giving, and I am reflecting on the act, ritualization, and commercialization of "giving."
In the past few weeks the media has been abuzz with commentary on the virtue or the silliness of Giving Tuesday. Social media and a consortium of charities pumped up the idea of naming the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday “Giving Tuesday,” declaring it the beginning of “The Giving Season.”
A quick read through the food sections of many newspapers and you’ll find a multitude of articles suggesting what to make for holiday (read, Christmas) meals. On the other hand, a read through Jewish newspapers, magazines and blogs leads one to find articles discussing the relationship between Jews and Chinese food that has long defined Christmas for many in the community.
Last week I wrote a blog post about the "Merry Christmas/Happy Hanukkah" issue. But now I'm thinking we should all just disregard what I wrote because today I found this video of Katie Goodman of Broad Comedy singing "I'll be Jewish for Christmas," and it says everything I wanted to say and more. In song.
In a recent guest post on TCJewfolk, Nina Badzin advocates that Jews stop rejecting “Merry Christmas” greetings by saying “Not everybody celebrates Christmas,” “I’m Jewish,” or “I celebrate Hanukkah.” She writes: “Our disdain is embarrassing. It’s wrong. AND IT HAS TO STOP.” While some of her points are certainly valid, the piece really rubbed me the wrong way.
You know when you walk into a store, a movie theater, a restaurant, a bus, really ANYWHERE anytime after Thanksgiving, and you buy your gift, movie ticket, meal, bus ticket and so on, you inevitably get wished a “Merry Christmas?” How do you feel about that? Warm and fuzzy or … not so much?
Who knew that "Hava Nagila" could be "sexy" ... or "racy"...? Lauren Rose (formerly Lauren Goldberg), a Jewess from the UK, has given this familiar (and perhaps tiresome) traditional Hebrew folk song a somewhat dirty, teeny-bopper twist.
Rather than stay fixated on last year’s “war against Christmas,” dust-up, the New York Times this holiday season has been running a veritable flood of articles suggesting that, when it comes to Christmas: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. No less than seven articles have put forward the argument that even those who might have good reason to distance themselves from Christmas tend to be happier (and less curmudgeonly) when they simply embrace the holiday that everyone loves.
As politicians continue to battle it out over whether Keith Ellison should or should not take his oath of office on the Koran (see the previous blog entry), the U.S. is engulfed in other “religious” matters -- the Christmas craze… or, as some like to call it, “Chrismukkah.”