I like to think of being Jewish as a marathon sport. I can dole out a soul-crushing guilt complex, shot-put-style, successfully match-make without meeting the intendeds, and turn dinner for two into a fridge full of leftovers.
I am Jewish woman, hear me roarrrrrr.
And sure, it comes with some issues, but I'm proud of each and every one of them. They were bequeathed to me by David. Yes, right after he slew Goliath, he said, "And now I shall pass down to all the future Jewish generations a strong dislike for plain butter on white bread. An olive, a pimento, maybe a smidgen of herring would be nice, but just butter?" (This is why Jews do not spend a huge amount of time in Connecticut).
I love being Jewish! Not that you cared or noticed or even sent a card or some flowers, but no matter... I'll live.
Eleven months out of the year, I celebrate, but then what I think of as goyim revenge creeps in. It starts in November -- the loneliest time of years for members of the tribes -- the time we are reminded, yet again, that we are, in fact, different -- the Christmas season. When Noel rolls around, I feel like the only one locked out of a sample sale.
"Let me in! I've got credit!"
Sure, we've got Chanukah -- eight days of it. Eight days trapped in the living room while your parents discuss the time you were constipated for a week from too much egg salad. (Hey, eating 35 eggs in three days would block up the Hudson River).
Eight days when your gifts are doled out agonizingly, one-per-day to keep you coming back for more. It's menorah blackmail! Speaking of presents... can I just interject here to say that socks, shampoo, soap, underwear and toothpaste should never be given as a Chanukah present! These are, um, what parents are supposed to give their kids all year long. It's just wrong to gift-wrap these things!
It's also wrong, by the way, to give your kid a Barbie doll missing one arm from the Grant's Going Out of Business Sale. No wonder I have issues!
Christmas always seemed much more merciful. You have a huge Christmas Eve dinner among your loved ones, eat massively, pass out, wake up, open gifts, eat some more, and leave. Heaven.
Sheesh, even when you try to ignore Christmas, it's just impossible! If you decide to watch television, every single program has some spliced-in Santa element. The closest I've come to a Chanukah program on the holidays is a "Twilight Zone" marathon.
So what's a Jew to do on Christmas? Yeah, I know, we go to the movies. Last time I did that, I wound up watching "Titanic," and honey, that didn't exactly lift the downtrodden mood. I mean basically it was a movie about a whole bunch of rich Jews drowning in a big boat, and worse yet, nobody sued.
Some Jews get into the spirit, by adopting a sort of morph of both cultures, the old "Cranukah" spiel, but this year, Chanukah crashed into Thanksgiving and left us bupkis for Christmas!
There was something depressing about the Chanukah bush anyway. A Christmas tree adorned with dreidels, Moses statuettes and pictures of Barbra Streisand was never gonna cut it!
No, to really beat the left-outta-Christmas blues, one must think bigger than Barbra -- and I don't mean Bette 'cause let's face it: Bette rocks, but Barbra is still the Streisand.
No, you have to think bigger then even Barbra -- I know, the Lord's name in vain -- but I'm on a roll. On December 24 of this year, I will be instituting the first annual Kitschmas Eve.
On this festive holiday, Jews in leisurewear will feast on a wide array of exotic dishes like kishka, schnitzel, kreplach, latkes and kugel and sip sparkling Manischewitz punch. Dessert will be babka, halvah, strudel, rugelach, hamantashen, a tall glass of seltzer and three Tums per customer.
Then it's off to caroling!
On the first night of Kitschmas, my true love gave to me...
Intestinal gas from eating too much cheese.
On the second night of Kitschmas, my true love gave to me...
Two Prilosecs, one tab of Advil, three ginger ales and Adam Sandler singing Chanukah songs.
Well... anyway, you get the point, dears. Make up your own Kitschmas carol -- my kishkas are killing me.
So what do we do on Kitschmas morning?
Eat a pastrami omelet, followed by lox (Nova, only) on an everything bagel with a shmear, give everyone a gift certificate for online shopping because life is short, and spend the afternoon digesting. Heaven.