Christmas Presents for Jews: a Thank You Card Would Be Nice
Merry Christmas Eve!
A few years ago I proposed what I was sure would be a... permanent solution to the Christian "oy-what-do-I-give-if-anything-at-all-to-my-Jewish-friends" dilemma. I know what you're thinking my gentle gentile-souled friends:
- Is it offensive to give people a gift on a holiday they traditionally and historically don't celebrate? Or is it worse to give everyone in your office Christmas presents except for the Jews?
- These Jews are really into reading and analysis and they're kinda neurotic and think that everyone is out to get them so if I give them a present celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ are they going to deconstruct that as an accusation of murdering Jesus Christ?
- If I give my Jewish friend a gift and he doesn't give me one am I, consciously or subconsciously, latently or blatently, perpetuating the cheap parasitic outsider Jew stereotype?
- If Jews don't get a present, do they not... kvetch?
I suggested a brilliant idea that, to my surprise, has not caught on. But it's not too late! Christians, you still have a day to make yourself and your Jewish friends happy. So in the interest of interfaith harmony, peaceful coexistence, and tolerant egalitarian commercialist commodification, and in the tradition of my ancestors before me, allow me to re-post what should have been -- and hopefully will become -- very prophetic words.
I would like to give birth to a new holiday tradition. Forget the happy Hanukkah cards. How about a thank you note?
Who killed Jesus is a topic of much debate: was it the Jews, the Romans, a combination, Jesus' own father, a plot requirement? Yet the question of who gave birth to baby Jesus is answered without equivocation: Mary. Yes, she did so with the help of God, but it was Mary who schlepped from inn to inn before settling on a perfectly acceptable no-frills manger (a real find.) And it was her zaftig, child-bearing hips which really delivered the goods. I happen to like Jesus, who was a real mensch, and wish that the Church followed his teachings more closely. And I'm not trying to take all the Jewish credit for Christ's birth. I just think that since we have, throughout history, been blamed for his death, we deserve, at the very least, a little credit for his birth. So here are some sample cards I would like to see. Nothing fancy, don't go crazy. Just something like "Thanks so much for the best Christmas present ever! Jesus Christ." Or "We were thrilled with a lord. But a lord and savior! You really outdid yourself." So Christians, send a thank you note to every Tom, Dick and Harry -- or Tov, Dov, and Heschie -- you know.
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