Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All Mukkah'ed Up

So you know when you're trying to find something on the Internet, and you end up stumbling onto something unexpected? Well, this happened to me the other day. The surprising thing that I found outraged and infuriated me. It also made me angry. And pissed me off. I've been going back and forth on whether to blog about it, simply because I'm not even sure I can find the words to make you understand why this is bad.

Let's start by reminding you of this. You don't need to read that now. It's long. Here's the summary: a friend asked me why it was that we couldn't celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas, and wouldn't that solve the problem of my son's Christmas envy. (I should say "sons'" Christmas envy because, unfortunately, now it is both of them.) The answer is, no way, no Christmas in my house. The post linked above explains all that.

There are two sites I found, and there may be more, that hold themselves out as "Jewish" and "kosher" and sell gifts you might want to give to Jewish people. But what if you have a Jewish friend who is married to a non-Jew, and their family celebrates both Christmas and Chanukah? These sites have the perfect gift solution for you. Clearly this situation puts you into a holiday gift black hole, I mean, what could you possibly give these people at the Big Important Holiday time of year that would make everyone happy? The answer is: a Chrismukkah gift! I cringe as I type that completely stupid blended word, knowing that a search for it might now bring up this blog. At some point I blogged about my son's invented word "disgrossting." The words "gross" and "disgusting" are meant to be combined. Christmas and Chanukah (while often used in the same sentence) are not.

I'll link you to the sites so you can see what I'm talking about. But please don't be taken in. The sites do features some very nice Judaica but I refuse to give them my money and you should too.

Here's one. Here's another. Look at some of the stuff there. You won't believe it.

A search reveals other sites, and of course, a Wikipedia entry, which notes, "um, 12tequilas, Chrismukkah's been around for several years are only just looking it up? Where have you been? Under a rock somewhere maybe?" I love you Wikipedia, but you can bite me. Yes, I am that angry about this.

People who celebrate more than one religion within their families don't mix the holidays up to create one new mashup tradition. I suppose some people might want to do it that way, but they shouldn't. Chanukah is NOT the Jewish Christmas, people. No matter how much you may want it to be. If you want to have a Christmas tree, have one. Don't put dreidls on it. If you want to hang stockings, hang them. Don't make them blue and white and decide they are "Chrismukkah" stockings. If you want to sing Christmas carols, sing them. Don't play a Klezmer carol CD. It's insulting. I have news for you: Chanukah and Christmas do not even coincide this year. There is just no excuse for this.

Look, I get it. Christmas is fun and all that. If you must celebrate it, do so, but don't feel as if you have to take a perfectly good Jewish holiday that has no relation to Christmas, and turn it into Christmas. If you want a dog, get a dog. Don't pretend that your cat is a dog. You cat will not take kindly to that, and you'll end up looking like an idiot.


MS said...

THANK YOU for posting this. Don't people realize that Jesus is the reason for the season? It has nothing to do with 8 crazy nights - they are totally different and separate.

MS said...

12 - that's a really long rant. I almost didn't get thru it!

The Calico Cat said...

Can I hate you for putting that on my radar... I only recently got over holiday cards that feature both holidays separately. The mixture is too much for me. (Now I am off to read the post that you referred to - before you made me look at those "mix them both together" pieces of crap.

12tequilas said...

Thanks MS and CC for your comments. I wanted to note something that a friend said on FB, in case this needs to be clarified. She said "to me you belittled those of us who remember why we celebrate Christmas and do as the people and things you are mad about." I want to point out that the only people I mean to insult are Jewish merchants (or any merchants) who would sell this stuff. I don't have a problem with Christmas, at all; I have a problem with people making a joke out of Chanukah by basically saying "hey, you're Jewish, but let's face it, you are really missing out, so let's have you be like the rest of us and give you some Chanukah symbols you can put on the tree." Does this make sense?

Shtuey said...

My favorite goyishe Chanukah question is: Chanukah is the Jewish Christmas, right? I used to answer that question with an informative answer. Lately though I'm thinking about just slapping them in the face instead. :-) Then they can turn the other cheek.

Did I type that out loud?

12tequilas said...

I just figured out where I'd seen you before, Calico Cat. You're a follower on Rabbi Raphael's blog. Is that how you found me? That is so cool! And, yes, you can totally hate me for this. I imagine you won't be the only one.

cotopaxis said...

Great Winter Holidays, where do I start! I'm one of those people who is Jewish and married to a person who isn't, and throughout our years together, we've never confused our respective holidays or tried to mash and meld them together. When you mix all the colors in the crayon box together, what do you get? Brown, as in... When you respect what each other has and celebrates, you discover their unique colors. So leave the holidays as they are instead of mukkah'ing with them.

If these sites are run by Jews, they're DGAS Jews. But I doubt they're run by Jews at all. My guess: JfJ or another group of that ilk.

The thing about calling a dog a cat is that one day it'll bite you in the ass for making the mistake.

(BTW: I've been saying "disgrossting" since I was a boy. It must be a boy thing.)

12tequilas said...

Dear cotopaxis, I'm not so sure they are JfJ types. I think that this must be something that actually sells. So they sell it. It's about the profits. I wonder if there's a way to find out how popular the items are.

Frank said...

Shtuey, I don't think violence is the answer. I'm not Jewish but I educate people on this point all the time. One at a time. What else can you do?

Shtuey said...

Frank, you're right, violence is not the answer, but sometimes fantasizing about it is okay. :-) What I want to know is when are the goyim going to wrestle Yeshki's birthday out the hands of the fat red guy and return Christmas to what it's supposed to be about...the birth of Jesus, and harassing Jews? I kid.

Seriously though, Christmas used to be a day for Jews to be able to go out and have Chinese food and have movie theaters to themselves. Now everyone is horning in on that tradition too. Is nothing sacred?

MS said...

People need to "take back Christmas" and remember that 'Jesus is the reason for the season' so to speak. I think we all agree that the religious part is much more important than the commercialization.

12tequilas said...

MS, you really like that rhyme, don't you? I think we need a few different ones. Let's see...Jesus is the explanation for the celebration. Jesus is the impetus for all the fuss. Jesus is the purpose behind the state of mind. Any more?

cotopaxis said...

12 Tequilas,

You're right about the sites not necessarily being run by JfJs: whoever is running them found a niche, and is trying to exploit that niche. That's the nature of so much business: come up with a product that no one needs, and try to convince people that THIS IS JUST WHAT THEY'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR! Sort of how Ronco got to be so successful (the tunip slicer/weed whacker/pants presser! Why didn't I think of that?).

A few rhymes (or near-enough to be rhymes):

…is the smorgasbord for the gastronomically bored (all those Xmas cookies!)
…is the cause for gifting guffaws
…is the basis for the bulging waistes
…is the means for thrilling family scenes (“We’ll have this story and more at 11:00…”)

jksmd said...

Loved your post, but I think "Oy to the World" is a brilliant piece of work, unlike the other random catalog offerings. The artists deliberately put two completely discordant musical traditions together in a unexpected and nuanced way that is jarring and fascinating. It addresses the whole controversial issue at hand of how, or whether, to combine traditions, whether they be religious or simply tonal. So, whether you love or hate "Chrismukkah," the CD is very thought-provoking, like any good work of art.

Personally, I like "Santa Geh Gezunder Heit":

(By the way, no, I have no connection to the artists or the CD...)

12tequilas said...

Dr. JKS I do see your point. Of course it is primarily the concept that I object to.

Juggling Frogs said...

Combining the two isn't merely annoying and stupid. Doing so contradicts the whole point of Chanukah, which celebrates not conforming to the majority culture/religion at the expense of Judaism.

The Calico Cat said...

Could be Rabbi Raphael - probably is... I can't remember squat.

But my MIL (Who lives in an orthodox community & plays the part) bought a Christmakkuh stocking for my son. I kid you not. I am too embarrassed to even give it away...

We told her that she need to use her community as a barometer as to what is an acceptable gift to give. Because she sure as heck would not give one of those to her friend's kid.