Three Things We Jews Love About Christmas (Just Another Holiday Post)

23 Dec

The majority of my friends (mostly imaginary) celebrate Christmas… At least, the heavily marketed version. Being Jewish, I don’t really participate, but I gotta say, I really love Christmas. And I’d like to tell you why.

1. Not having to buy presents for everyone.

Every time I have lunch with a friend during December they’re stressed to the gills. And it’s not because they’re trying to get all their work done before the holidays. It’s generally because all their free-time is dedicated to tracking down the hottest new fad item for their 6-year-old nephew.

Vader finds Elmo's lack of faith disturbing.

I read a statistic I just made up that over 80% of presents get returned or thrown away. So that three hours you spent trying to figure out what to get Steve (shopping for a dude is tough) probably just ended with an unceremonious, “Thaaaaaanks…” and visions of tossing the gift into the trash.

In case you're wondering, this is what he wanted.

All my friends are busy spending every free moment running to this store or the other to buy gifts for co-workers, family members, co-workers of family members, family members of co-workers, customers, random strangers, and anyone trapped in between. Not only is it a huge time-suck, but there’s a large financial cost to it as well. Eighteen percent interest on a $2000 purchase of Beanie Babies sounds like a good call right?

This is what a terrible decision looks like.

Thanks, but I’ll spend my holiday time eating free candy canes and cookies.

The added perk for us Jews is that since our Christmas celebrating friends follow the “it’s better to give than to receive” mantra, we still end up getting a bunch of gifts.

Friend: “Hey Max! Listen, I know you don’t celebrate Christmas, but I was thinking of you while I was shopping for my family… And I got you this.”

Max: “Oh man, $50 Amazon Gift Card?! Best gift ever! I feel kind of terrible… I didn’t get anything for you…” (make sure to frown here)

Friend: “Oh that’s alright, I know you don’t celebrate Christmas, I was just thinking of you is all.”

BOOM. Free gift. I hope you were taking notes.

It's amazing how much Amazon you can get for fifty bucks.

2. Total relaxation on game day.

The 25th of December tops my stress-free-days list every time. There’s no reason to go outside since absolutely everything’s closed. This means you can compartmentalize all your “to-dos” (i.e. fix the strap on my Hello Kitty backpack) to a day where the post office is actually open and you can get customer service on the phone (you know, to complain about the backpack). Also, no family at the house means no dishes, no petty political discussion, and no flipping over the Trivial Pursuit board during heated debates.

Because Wookiees hate pop trivia.

Meanwhile, everyone else is trying to figure out how to stop the kids from chasing after the dogs that Aunt Anne thought it appropriate to bring and how to get Uncle Al to stop pointing threateningly with the hand that’s not spilling eggnog all over your brand new carpet.

This should actually be reason #1.

Meanwhile, I’m at home counting my winnings from a rousing game of dreidel. Gold wrapped chocolate coins never tasted so good.

3. Going on an exchange program.

Every now and then, one of my friends decides to invite me along so I can “see what christmas is really like” and I get to go visit another culture for a day. This might be as simple as drinking beer and playing cards or a more complex situation like going to church and opening presents with the fam. It’s such an exploratory experience that I generally put it on my resume.

Because nothing says "world experience" like sombreros.

Christmas with friends means awkwardly listening to embarrassing stories about family members you haven’t met that are either: A. Not there, or B. Very drunk. And it always ends with me leaving before cleanup, ’cause F that noise.

And hopefully before this guy shows up.

Though I must say, my favorite part of the holidays is being so lazy that I don’t even have to come up with a conclusion to my blog posts.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah!


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11 Responses to “Three Things We Jews Love About Christmas (Just Another Holiday Post)”

  1. Sandra Parsons December 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

    I just love your style. That’s writing and celebrating.
    I come from a family of heathens, so we simply take the best of Christmas and celebrate that while the annoying bits… well, let’s just say we leave them to others. And buying presents for everyone and their mother (and her dog) is definitely not on the fun side of the equation. So we don’t. Gifts are only for kids, period. Frees up so much time for the really important stuff!
    So, Happy Lazy Days, Max!

    • macsJF December 28, 2011 at 9:04 am #

      Thanks Sandra! I love your style of loving my style.

  2. Dienna December 23, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    “Though I must say, my favorite part of the holidays is being so lazy that I don’t even have to come up with a conclusion to my blog posts.”

    HA! Happy holidays to you!

    • macsJF December 28, 2011 at 9:05 am #

      I think I’m going to conclude all my posts that way from here on out.

  3. vplant December 23, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I wish I were Jewish. Great post.

    • macsJF December 28, 2011 at 9:05 am #

      You can always convert. Or you could just tell people you’re Jewish. That’s probably a “best of both worlds” scenario.

  4. theorangeinkblot December 24, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Great post- from another Jew who loves Christmas!! You forgot getting the best seats in the house at the movie theater on Christmas Day and not having to stay up until 2 a.m. on Christmas Eve assembling a bicycle from Santa. If my kids get a bike for Chanukah, they are going to help put it together darn it!!!

    • macsJF December 28, 2011 at 9:07 am #

      Both excellent additions. My brother and I went to go see Mission Impossible on Christmas Day, but I was a bit surprised at how many people were out at the movies… Maybe all Jews? Possibly agnostics. Either way, yay for Ethan Hunt.

  5. James December 24, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Don’t you get like 12 days of gift giving during hannukah? I am willfully ignorant, cause hey life’s just easier that way but it sounds like more work.

    • theorangeinkblot December 25, 2011 at 6:13 am #

      Actually, it’s 8 days- but who’s counting?

      I grew up in a family that celebrated both Christmas and Hannukah. Now that must have been a lot of work for my parents!!!

    • macsJF December 28, 2011 at 9:11 am #

      It’s actually 14 days of Hannukah James, but that follows on the heels of Passover which is a celebration of our independence from England. The gifts are optional, but must be valued under $6. We generally give smoothies.

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