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Jews Love Christmas

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Give me around 800 words to speak for all the Jews. Not the Hasidic Jews. The grim reaper looking guys with the haircut that makes no sense in any generation. Not the Israeli Jews. If I were writing a column for them it would just be “Go fuck yourself” written over and over again. I’m talking your everyday, old-fashioned, American Jews. The one you grew up with. The one whose house, against the brightly colored Christian houses, looked really depressing this time of year. The one who never got a really good haircut. The one who kind of speaks like an older woman even though she’s 21. The standard, three holidays a year, got the big check when he or she was 13, gets really anxious, and can’t eat spicy food Jew. I’m going to speak for those guys. You know what? We love Christmas. Not like, or even indifferent, we love your big Jesus birthday party.

You probably have a lot of questions: Do you have a tree? Do you lie to your children, too? Do you love Christmas because Jesus was like a bad-boy-Jew who, in 2015, would have a tattoo of hebrew letters and the whole thing would be kinda sexy? Well, the last one is a big yes. But, no we don’t have a tree. Those Jews exist, though. The ones whose parents were pussies and didn’t want their kids to feel left out. So they did some sort of impersonation of a Christmas celebrating family. Those kids grew up to love whatever team Lebron plays for and get really mad when the Patriots lose while living in Florida. No, we hate those bandwagon Jews. They’re like the girl who says she’s bi for the male attention. They probably don’t take off of work for the actual Jewish holidays and make the rest of us look bad.

We do our own thing. And I get asked by my non-Jewish friends about it a lot. They’ll ask if I’m jealous and if I ever wonder what it’s like to run down the stairs to a bunch of presents in my thermals. Yes that all sounds alluring for a toddler. I’ve also tried on adult thermals and I don’t think I’ll ever get used to pooping through that butt-flap. But I’m pretty happy with my adult Jewish Christmas. The one that involves no thought about other people. The one that has no moment where I’m sweating as I stand in a female lingerie store wondering if this is an appropriate place to buy something for my mom. The one with zero conversations with relatives that somehow turn to politics and somehow turn racist.

The Jewish Christmas we love is the one that’s like a trip to the spa. The one with tons of “me time” and binge watching without judgement. The one that makes visiting family a choice and not an obligation. The one your richer Jewish friends spend on a beautiful beach and your poorer Jewish friends spend on a not-as-nice beach. The one that proves stereotypes of all kinds are very true the minute we leave a movie theater and enter a Chinese restaurant. Think about your favorite, laziest Sunday, and that’s the Jewish Christmas Jesus promised.

That’s not to take away from your day. We are happy you have it. We get so much of the benefits without any of the obligations. Your cookies. Your eggnog. The music that, of all people, Mariah Carey absolutely fucking nailed (I could listen to this song every day of the year). Your general happiness. Your “Fuck it, it’s the holidays, I’ll get drunk on a Tuesday” attitude. But most of all, if you didn’t have your Christmas then we wouldn’t have ours.

This is why I never understood the “Merry Christmas” vs “Happy holiday” debate. I don’t know who’s asking for this one. I can promise you it wasn’t a Jew. If someone says “Merry Christmas” to me, I’m just happy they think I’m handsome enough to be Italian. The fact that the Horah currently plays in this Starbucks is already way too much obligation for a holiday season that (happily) isn’t mine. I keep thinking an older, waspy looking guy is going to point at the speaker and ask what the song means. Then I’ll have to make up some lie to not look dumb. A two-minute holiday conversation I shouldn’t be having.

We love Christmas because it’s YOUR holiday, which means we have to do absolutely nothing. So celebrate with your families. Enjoy giving gifts and telling your kids a cookie-hungry stranger is going to break into your house. And please keep saying Merry Christmas. You enjoy all of that while I enjoy Chinese food and getting really high to see Star Wars.

Thank you, Jesus. Happy birthday from your old friends, American Jews.

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Jared Freid (@jtrain56) is a New York City-based comedian who has been featured on MTV’s Failosophy and is the host of The JTrain Podcast presented by TFM.

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