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Published December 19, 2008

(New York—NY) I think it was either Sigmund Freud or any post-rhinoplasty Bat Mitzvah girl from Long Beach (That’s Long Island…not California.) who wrote “I am a Jew, and it always seemed to me not only shameful but downright senseless to deny it.” And that’s my sentiment at Christmas. But, like Freud, I’m not particularly religious. You could call me ultra-Reformed. Or as my friend Jon Braunhut would say, “I’m your typical, post-Holocaust atheistic Jew.” Simply put, I do like when the Christmas carols start. What is it like the end of August nowadays?

And there’s my dilemma. As I write that joke, I think that even the most accepting gentile must be thinking: “Yeah, thanks to your people extending the Season for profit.” Paranoia or just pogrom insurance? You tell me? No, it’s not a rhetorical question. Tell me. Is that joke a Nuremberg Laws violation?

I do get a warm feeling when I hear those Christmas carols of August. I do like eggnog and red sweater vests. I do like the Christmas Tree. Hey, it was pagan before it was Christian. To me, it just reminds me of family, and family is universal, right? Again, not rhetorical, I’m asking. It’s Jewish guilt. Should I be writing this “Top Ten List”? Again, I’m asking. Then there is Christmas. Christians open gifts. Jews go to movies. I’m okay with that. I see it as our tradition of still wandering, Israel and Ben’s Kosher Deli aside.

In any case, we do have a sense of humor. I hear the WASP in the back saying to his eleven-year old son in Taft school blazer and khaki pants, “Yes, it comes from the Jewish people’s oral tradition.” Ever notice how WASPs never say “Jews”? It’s okay. We know we’re Jews. So, with a nod to Sigmund Freud, without further guilt (Oh, who am I kidding?) here are my:

Top Ten Reasons Santa Is Downsizing This Year
10. Lost the rights to “Santa Claus” name after a messy divorce with Mrs. Claus.
  9. Sleigh insurance went up seventy-five percent after third DUI spiked eggnog incident.
  8. After “checking it twice” procedure discontinued due to cost, had to launch massively expensive   
      PR campaign because of unfortunate gift delivery incident to “little Charlie Manson in California”.
  7. Gifts will take three times longer to deliver after Rudolph decides he’s not “feeling it this year.”
  6. Elf pension fund wiped out after misguided investment with Bernard Madoff.
  5. Attempt to sell “good boy and good girl list positions” revealed in FBI Rod Blagojevich investigation.
  4. No longer able to outsource to Chinese elves after reindeer discovered as a major part of their diet.
  3. North Pole melting due to global warming causes flooding. Still waiting for FEMA trailers.
  2. Messy scandal: T’was the night before Christmas, Santa caught on video by TMZ with only one  
      “Ho.”
  1.Wal-Mart

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