The Official Coping Guide For Being Jewish On Christmas

Jon Savitt - Author

Dec. 15 2014, Updated 12:00 p.m. ET

I’ve been Jewish my whole life. No, I don’t keep kosher. Yes, I have had a beard since my ultrasounds (#tbt). While I love most of the components that go along with being Jewish — camp, challah, etc. — there is one thing that I don’t particularly enjoy. And no, I don’t mean the constant communication with my mom. I’m talking specifically about a 24-hour period during the year.


It’s not that I have anything against Christmas, actually quite the opposite. I admire the joyful aroma that seems to be contagious. I enjoy the lights as I drive slowly down the side streets. And I crave the one season where we get to enthusiastically pretend that Mariah Carey is still relevant.

No, it’s not my feelings toward Christmas; it’s how I feel on Christmas.

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Being a minority on Christmas isn’t easy; I know, call the First World Problem police, right? It’s basically like walking into the high school cafeteria and seeing that the Cool Kid table is full (not that I would know how that feels… ). Chad, you know, the coolest kid in school, captain of the football team, ACT score of 18… Anyways, it’s like he’s throwing the biggest party of the year — his parents are even out of town — but you aren’t invited and every time you bring it up in the halls everyone gets quiet.

I used to be discouraged by this. I used to be envious of my friends and the happiness that built up in their eyes as they sang carols and opened their presents Christmas morning; I have witnessed this first hand, in-person, through social media. If you don’t know how this feels, essentially it’s like you’re a character in Frozen. But not Olaf or Elsa, just, like, one of the extras that no one cares about.


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But that was then; I’m a different person now. I’m more intelligent. I like more sophisticated foods. I don’t change the radio when Taylor Swift comes on. I realize that there is a silver lining to this whole Christmas thing, and it comes in the form of no lines at movie theaters and minimal traffic. So, if you’re like me, then you might feel lost when jolly old Saint Nick comes to town (check out that Christmas reference!), but do not worry, for I have crucial tips to help you survive the season.

1. Stay positive

Remember, we have a lot of cool holidays, too. Let’s see, there’s Passover, Yom Kippur… never mind. But we do have Mila Kunis, and that should be enough!

Also, Jewish food is amazing. Every time you get sad that you didn’t tear down a living piece of nature just to decorate it, remember that our good friends Matzah and Gefilte Fish will always be there for us. Yum!

2. Spend quality time with the family

Even if you’re just arguing or watching the “Blank Space” music video on repeat.

3. Treat yourself to a nice meal

If restaurants are willing to stay open on Christmas Eve, we are obligated to go. ‘Nuff said.

Do you think I enjoy getting off the couch to go pay for food, when I could just eat pizza rolls from the freezer? No, but it’s what I have to do. We need to continue the stereotype that is Jews dragging ourselves to Chinese restaurants en masse, because if we don’t we will literally get no attention come Christmas.

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4. Contact that person who has been bugging you

Use this opportunity to contact all of those people who have been reaching out trying to “hang out” or “get a drink.” You know that they already have plans, so you won’t actually have to see them. But it’s a nice gesture. If you get caught, just act like you had no idea that it was Christmas, because that’s believable.

5. Catch up on TV

You don’t need to have FOMO, considering everyone else in the world is having a great time; you might as well catch up on Zoey 101 or whatever other completely underrated shows people watch these days.

6. Reach out to friends

We’re all in this together (cut to cliche movie scene of nerds having their own party). It’s important to create solidarity and stick together!

7. Don’t tell others how much fun you’re having — show them!

Turn up for Moses. Whether you’re having a great time playing board games, watching Adam Sandler movies, or just playing Trivia Crack, make sure you document it. This is the era of social media: take pictures, tweet, snapchat (10 secs), do it all! Make sure you get some action shots of you laughing and possibly even holding a beer or a glass of wine if you’re really crazy. What you are doing is saying “Christmas? What’s that? A new band? Never heard of them. Sorry, I’m too busy being awesome.”

So, remember, when December 25 comes along, don’t be Grease 2;nobody likes Grease 2. Instead, be happy. Be social. Be Shrek in a world full of Lord Farquaads. Be different and don’t be afraid to show it.

And remember that “White Christmas” and “Sleigh Ride” were both written by Jews.



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