Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Holidays: Christmas vs. Chanukah

At this most joyous time of year, there remains some confusion as to the differences between these two holidays. They are celebrated by most of the peoples of this Earth in some fashion.

So, what's the difference? The following is a tongue-in-cheek "explanation" of the differences. I hope nobody takes offense as this is offered to you in the spirit of good, clean fun.

  • Christmas is one day, the same day every year, December 25th. Jews also love December 25th. It's another paid day off work. They can go to the movies and go out for Chinese food. Chanukah is eight days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. They know only that it is always either late or early. It is never on time. Jews never know when it is until a non-Jewish friend asks, which forces them to consult a calendar so they don't look like idiots. They all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation to the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral home.
  • Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays -- they tried to kill the Jews, they survived, so let's eat.
  • Christians get wonderful presents, such as jewelry, perfume, or stereos. Jews get practical presents, such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam which looks impressive on a bookshelf.
  • There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah -- Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah.
  • Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.
  • Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are Jews spared enormous electric bills, but they get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.
  • Christmas carols are beautiful -- Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful. Chanukah songs are about dreidels (tops) made from clay or having a party and dancing the hora. Of course, Jews are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by tribal brethren. And, don't Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?
  • A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful like the sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes, and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.
  • Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes (potato pancakes) on Chanukah. Another reminder of Jewish suffering through the ages.
  • Parents deliver presents to their children on Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.
  • The players in the Christmas story have easy-to-pronounce names, such as Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta-whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, Jews can tell their friends anything and they believe Jews are wonderfully versed in their history.
  • Many Christians believe in the virgin birth. Jews think, "Yossela, Bubbelah, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn't sleep with her, and now you want to blame G-d? Here's the number of my shrink."
  • In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could Jews market a major holiday such as Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement)? Forget about celebrating. Think instead of observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, which amounts to a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets for the service are a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah.
So, no matter which holiday you celebrate, I send you greetings for a wonderful, healthy, and happy Christmas and Chanukah. Be good to yourself and hug someone. They will love you for it.


At December 17, 2006 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very funny. And all together true. You seem to be feeling a bit cheerier. I'm glad.

At December 17, 2006 2:02 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Great post and I learned quite a few things here!
Sending a BIG (((hug))) to one of my favorite blogging buddies!

At December 17, 2006 2:45 PM, Blogger jellyhead said...

Same to you Motherkitty!

(....goes away stil chuckling over this post!)

At December 17, 2006 5:45 PM, Blogger T. said...

Merry Christmas Motherkitty!

At December 18, 2006 12:01 AM, Blogger Smalltown RN said...

Oh I like this is so funny but lots of truth to it...but I did learn something...I never knew there were so many ways to spell Chanukah...I have never seen it spelt with a "C".

Merry Berries to you my friend!!


At December 18, 2006 5:11 AM, Blogger susan said...

Happy Holidays or however you say it, I hope you and yours enjoy a great season.

At December 18, 2006 5:45 PM, Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I love this is so funny.
Merry Christmas or Chanuka to you Motherkitty and keep the cats away from your presents. hehehe

My kitties shred up the wrapping paper last year on the gifts so everyone had a piece of their gifts shredded.

At December 18, 2006 9:45 PM, Blogger Rosa said...

So glad to see you back. Missed ya! Happy holidays to one and all!

At December 19, 2006 11:23 AM, Blogger Franny said...

Hee hee hee! Wish I knew someone who was jewish so I could ask them if it's all true!

At December 19, 2006 12:12 PM, Blogger Motherkitty said...

Yes, it's all true.

At December 19, 2006 3:13 PM, Anonymous Rhea said...

I celebrate Hanukkah but I love lots of stuff about Christmas. The lights, the good cheer, the music, etc. Happy holidays to you!

At December 19, 2006 4:56 PM, Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

Great explanation.

You left out only one thing that I could think of: I have it on good authority that the 25th of December is also Jewish Movie Day.

Everyone else is at home celebrating or recovering or getting ready for still another celebration... and the multiplexes are all open.


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