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Xmas as a Jewish holiday
December 10, 2002 1:29 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered what Xmas would be like if it were a Jewish Holiday? Precisely defined rules for preparing for the holiday, procuring and decorating the tree, cooking the festive meal, giving gifts, and all other seasonal celebrations. With footnotes! Songs! More footnotes! Riddles! Even more footnotes! [via Making Light] (This is a Geocities site, so don't all rush there at once and overload it, OK?)
posted by maudlin (35 comments total)

 
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to see this before the geocities site blew up (which it will)

If anyone's interested, here is the google cache
posted by lynda at 1:43 PM on December 10, 2002


Google cache! (D'oh!) I'll remember to hunt for that next time.
posted by maudlin at 1:46 PM on December 10, 2002


Looks like it's available at lots of other servers, as it appears the geocities site isn't the orignal.
posted by mathowie at 1:46 PM on December 10, 2002


I thought X was Jewish.

btw how come Mormons are considered Christian, but Christians aren't considered Jewish?

btw2, thanks Matt.
posted by dgaicun at 1:52 PM on December 10, 2002


Have you ever wondered what Xmas would be like if it were a Jewish Holiday?

I am going to go out on a limb here, and guess it would be just like Chanukah?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:56 PM on December 10, 2002


"...how come Mormons are considered Christian..."

To fundamentalist Christians, they aren't.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:57 PM on December 10, 2002


btw how come Mormons are considered Christian, but Christians aren't considered Jewish?

That's debatable. A lot of Christians would argue that Mormons aren't Christian, because we don't follow traditional Catholic/Protestant doctrine.

It doesn't really matter though, since Judaism and Christianity are just parts of Mormonism anyway. ;-)
posted by oissubke at 1:58 PM on December 10, 2002


"...Judaism and Christianity are just parts of Mormonism anyway"

I'm sure the families of all the Holocaust victims the Mormons have baptized by proxy think that's just funny as hell.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:03 PM on December 10, 2002


To fundamentalist Christians, they aren't.

Yeah, but fundamentalist Christians represent Christianity like Islamists represent Islam
posted by dgaicun at 2:08 PM on December 10, 2002


I'm sure the families of all the Holocaust victims the Mormons have baptized by proxy think that's just funny as hell.

I was getting all excited that we'd have another off-topic Mormon-bashing thread (even got my boxing gloves out), but then you Godwinized it right off the bat. Thanks a lot.
posted by oissubke at 2:09 PM on December 10, 2002


Yeah, that was pretty weak M_C_D.
posted by dgaicun at 2:10 PM on December 10, 2002


Whatever. I guess it's OK to insult Christians and Jews, but Mormons are off-limits?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2002


Oissubke, I generally disagree with everything you say, but your sense of humor carries well.
posted by four panels at 2:20 PM on December 10, 2002


Whatever. I guess it's OK to insult Christians and Jews, but Mormons are off-limits?

Who's insulting them? Judaism is historically and culturally part of Christianity. Judaism and Christianity are historically part of Mormonism. I was being a bit facetious, sure, but you're the one posting links about how I'm not really a Christian and how I'm offensive to holocaust victims. Chill out, dude.
posted by oissubke at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2002


No religion was insulted (including Mormonism). oissubke is the one who was insulted. I'll demonstrate what I mean, by invoking the Holocaust the next time you try to make a light-hearted comment. I'm sure you'll consider it fair behavior.
posted by dgaicun at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2002


"I'll demonstrate what I mean, by invoking the Holocaust the next time you try to make a light-hearted comment."

Whatever turns you on.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:25 PM on December 10, 2002


I think the only reason Christmas is taken rather informally by many people nowadays is that most people who call themselves 'Christians' aren't Christians in the strictest sense of the word.

In national surveys, almost 80% of Brits say they are 'Church of England' (the Church of England being a non-papal branch of Christianity).

However, does 80% of the population go to church? No. In fact, less than 5% does. What percentage prays on a regular basis? I bet it's considerably less than 80%! What percentage lives by Christian ideals? We won't even go there..

So the only reason we often take Christmas in an informal way is because even when we say we are, we're not really proper Christians after all.. and the Jews have much more determination in their faith.
posted by wackybrit at 2:27 PM on December 10, 2002


umm, yeah, mormons.

anyway ... yay! thanks for the first link i ever got off metafilter which will score points with my father-in-law.
posted by danOstuporStar at 2:28 PM on December 10, 2002


I think the only reason Christmas is taken rather informally by many people nowadays ...

My approach has generally been to let Christmas (the social holiday) be Christmas, and to set aside some day before or after it to actually specifically celebrate Christ.

It's no fun to try to make it into a purely religious holiday, since you lose the social holiday, and vice versa, so I usually just split 'em up.

Besides, if you believe in Christ, you ought to be celebrating Him year round anyway. :-)
posted by oissubke at 2:35 PM on December 10, 2002


However, does 80% of the population go to church? No. In fact, less than 5% does.

Religion is more of a cultural tradition than a supernatural worshipping concurrent with God.

Although there remain those that are convinced of the literal act of turning water into wine.

I remain convinced that Peace is possible, yet as I grow older, history and time seem to show otherwise.

Maybe when water turnes into wine.
posted by four panels at 2:36 PM on December 10, 2002


Yeah, but fundamentalist Christians represent Christianity like Islamists represent Islam
Ah...there's the segue I was waiting to see!
posted by HTuttle at 2:36 PM on December 10, 2002


the Jews have much more determination in their faith

Not to disparage the other MeFiJews [hi Judith!] but one of the great thing about Judaism is that you have the option of claiming it culturally while not having to claim it religiously at all. Christmastime is an ironically problematic time of year to celebrate the non-adoption of a domainant culture [Hanukkah] but this year it's already over, so make a mental note when you are trying to figure out how to say "Happy Holidays" to all your Jewish friends.
posted by jessamyn at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2002


"Thanksgiving". That would be Jewish-American then?
posted by vbfg at 2:55 PM on December 10, 2002


Light-hearted-link-turned-deep-metaphysical-discussion-derailed-by-post-modern-angst-and-ad-hominem.

Gotta love it.

*sigh*

Anywho. The link was funny and the Crazy Eddie reference at the end was particularly grin-inducing. Thanks maudlin!
posted by silusGROK at 2:58 PM on December 10, 2002


...make a mental note when you are trying to figure out how to say "Happy Holidays" to all your Jewish friends.

There's always the New Year.

Then again, I suppose my Jewish friends may have celebrated that back in September.... You're right; this is tricky!
posted by mr_roboto at 3:12 PM on December 10, 2002


let's kill everyone! fuck them all--god will be done, mother.
posted by Postroad at 3:19 PM on December 10, 2002


I used to think the Maccabees were Irish. Which, I concluded (using incomparable Age 6 Logic), meant that we were Catholic and Jewish. And which explains why all my drawings of Christmas trees were suddenly topped off with Stars of David.
posted by scody at 3:26 PM on December 10, 2002


jesus was a dreidel spinner!
posted by quonsar at 3:37 PM on December 10, 2002


jesus was a dreidel spinner!

He's not the only one
posted by oissubke at 3:43 PM on December 10, 2002


From another angle, the differences are trivial.
posted by rushmc at 3:50 PM on December 10, 2002


This is by far one of the funniest things I've read in a long, long time.

But I guess you'd have to have some exposure to the Talmud to really appreciate it.

I'll be forwarding this link to my observant Jewish friends.

Great post, maudlin.
posted by Cerebus at 8:52 PM on December 10, 2002


er....christians are jewish.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:38 AM on December 11, 2002


Better idea: let's make New Year's Eve the big day/night for exchanging gifts. Before you dismiss this idea out of hand, consider several factors: (1) it is accepted as a "holiday" by more people (or at least acknowledged, via the changing of the calendar) than christmas, hannukah, kwanzaa, or other December holidays (2) everybody is festive and cheerful, with no unearned "guilt" over the "secret shame" of actually feeling good about receiving gifts (3) none of that lying-to-kids-crap about Santa Claus (which I did for a number of years with my kids, but never felt good about it) (4) what better way to start the new year than by surprising each other with gifts?
IMPLEMENTATION: Easy. You can still use a tree (symbol of new growth, life, etc) as the centerpiece of your holiday decorating, but instead of red & green, I think that white & blue seem to be better suited for a New Year holiday. Heck, you can even put up a Festivus pole (with the requisite "feats of strength" and "airing of grievances," natch). Of course, everyone is free to decorate (or not) as they see fit, but a move away from traditional green-n-red would help spur the nascent movement. The kicker, of course, is that instead of opening presents on christmas morning, you open them at midnight on New Year's Eve --what a great way to start the new year! And as I mentioned -- instead of worrying about whether your intended receipients celebrate christmas, hannukah, kwanzaa, or some other holiday (and if they do, does it mean the same to them as it does to you?), you can purchase, give, and receive gifts comfortable in the knowledge that everyone -- with very, very exceptions in America, anyway -- celebrates the New Year at the same time, on the same day, for the same reason: to ring in a new year with good cheer & goodwill.

AND: Christians are not Jewish, and Jews are not Christians. Mormons are Christians, as are Protestants, Catholics, Baptists, Lutherans, etc. And "Jewish" is a religion, NOT a culture. Being an atheist, it's much easier to spot false differences and align religions according to belief, rather than "cultural" differences.
posted by davidmsc at 6:04 PM on December 11, 2002


but christmas with the tree and santa and all that is not a christian holiday; it's the pagan celebration of the winter solstice - the darkest day of the year fell on Dec 25 by the julian calendar so people brought greenery inside and made fires and exchanged gifts and feasted and drank egg nog. The jesus stuff was just attached to that by constantine in 300-something, whenever he converted... or was it 400-something? Anyway. So david, there's no real need to switch to new year's...
posted by mdn at 8:19 PM on December 11, 2002


instead of opening presents on christmas morning, you open them at midnight on New Year's Eve

I think a lot of children would be asleep and a lot of adults would be passed out by midnight....
posted by rushmc at 9:48 PM on December 11, 2002


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