Being Jewish around Christmastime is never “holly jolly,” and I attribute this mostly to the music. It’s inescapable — every store, taxicab, and TV commercial is blasting feel-good jams about Yuletide cheer. And unless you’re a big Adam Sandler fan, which I haven’t been since Happy Gilmore,¹ there really isn’t any Hanukkah music to rock out to on the radio.
Now, I will admit that even a misanthrope like me can give in and be a total sap — I watch Glee. However, even the hilariously diverse group of high school students on Glee manages to completely ignore that Christmas isn’t the only December holiday. Has everyone forgotten that Rachel Berry is Jewish?² Has she forgotten? The entire Christmas episode absolutely infuriated me: Rachel gives her boyfriend a Christmas wishlist, sings Christmas songs I’ve never even heard of and squeals “Best. Christmas. Ever!!” under a sprig of mistletoe.³
I present to you, after the jump, a list of my absolute least favorite “holiday” tunes.
Come on, man, you were a Beatle! Every time I hear this song, I’m simply having a terrible Christmas time. What instrument is that, even? It sounds like lasers.
Did he spike her drink?? Will someone explain this to me??? She asks him what’s in the drink he used to coerce her to stay with him, and he completely ignores the question! Also, she totally has a curfew that she’s going to miss. The chivalrous thing to do would be to respect her “no,” walk her home and say goodnight. This song really just makes me uncomfortable.
This one’s just depressing. He’s promising to be home, but have you really listened to the lyrics? HE’S NOT MAKING IT HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. Only in his dreams!! Stop making false promises and just be straight with us, Frank. We’ll understand.
Now I feel like I’m missing out on something. Is there something nondenominational that’s the second-most wonderful time of the year, at least? Do I get any sort of mildly enjoyable time of year, at least?
Is there an immunity to the annoyance of jingle bells that comes built-in when you’re baptized? I think bells should be limited to the ones on churches4 and the ones we used to tie to my little cousin’s shoes when he was a kid so he wouldn’t get lost. The association with harassment by the Salvation Army is too strong for me to ever get over my aversion to tiny bells.
- Honorable mentions: Any song that mentions eating turkey,5 snowing,6 or mistletoe.7
1 Okay… Maybe Big Daddy.
2 Puck is Jewish, too. Is any of this plausible? Does anyone know if there are any Jews in Lima, Ohio, at all?
3 If you want a great example of a Jew on a TV Christmas special, as well as a great parody of Glee, Annie from Community did a far better job. Six seasons and a movie!!
4 And I am NOT talking about the Pealers. I found out recently I know a few of the Pealers personally, and it really made me question my friendships with them. Why? Why must you ruin Fridays from 4 to 5 p.m. for me?
5 I’m sorry, what? Do you treat Christmas dinner like Second Thanksgiving?? There are a whole ton of songs that mention turkey and pumpkin pie, but none that mention the supposedly ubiquitous fruit cake. I am so confused by your culture.
6 I swear every time a song mentions hoping for snow, I hope it’s 50 degrees on Christmas and it doesn’t snow until January.
7 Seems coercive. “Oh, dang, mistletoe! Guess WE NEED TO MAKE OUT!” Creeeeepy.