1) Don't crucify me, but sometimes it takes a Jew to make truly great Christmas music. Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" poolside at the Arizona Biltmore, and let's not forget about the classic A Christmas Gift For You by Phil Spector who won't be poolside anytime soon. This phenomenon is only fitting, really, since Jesus was a visionary himself and arguably the original nice Jewish boy.
2) Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond are my first two heroes who made me want to be a writer in the first place, so you're only reading these words for free right now because of them. Sure, Barry Manilow came into my life a little later, but he has gainfully employed me numerous times to write many of his liner notes. So this X-Mas season of lights and latkes, please do the right thing and support your local Jewish musical icons!
3) Think of the release of these albums as a very targeted stimulus plan, and not as a Zionist plot of any sort. Also, thankfully, Neil Diamond's Cherry Cherry Christmas includes a version of "The Chanukah Song" that should give that mensch Adam Sandler a whole lot of nachas.
4) Like the perfect potato pancake, these albums are guaranteed kosher, delicious and worthy of your hard-earned gelt even if they were not technically prepared under Rabbinical or Papal Supervision.
5) The release of these albums gives me something spiritually uplifting to talk about while shamelessly promoting my own latest, just-out-for-Chanukah new paperback release, He Is . . . I Say: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Neil Diamond. Especially at this time of year, shameless self-promotion -- like Christmas albums themselves -- is a great tradition of my people that's still well worth celebrating.