Maaaan, Santa loves the Jews.
But I’m sorry guys, I’m his favorite. This might be a tough pill to swallow, but Saint Nick and I have history that I’m pretty sure none of you can touch, even you with your multi-religious, menorah and tree-bearing Willamsburg apartments.
I think it all really started when I was a little kid. I wasn’t by any means disappointed to be Jewish, in fact I lived in a predominantly Christian suburb in Upstate New York so the extra attention kind of rocked (until I got to middle school and it didn’t, but that’s a different article). But you know, I did wonder why there was a magical entity delivering presents for Christmas, but Hanukkah was just, like, my mom. That’s when my parents made up Hanukkah Harry, the imaginary chocolate lab that delivered Hanukkah presents so that I wouldn’t feel left out. Just like my kindergarten classmates, I could finally extend greed and gratitude to a fictional character instead of my parents!
Hanukkah Harry was cool, but a part of my heart was still holding out for Santa. Ironically, I attribute this to a beautiful Christmas tree I saw every year of my childhood during trips to the Jewish homeland, Boca Raton, Florida.
I knew Santa wasn’t out here doing the work for me, but I respected him. And he knew this. I gave him huge smiles at the mall. I thought about him often and was totally in awe of how much work he could complete in one night. As a college student in the midst of finals season, my admiration has only grown in that respect.
So when the time came for both of my divorced parents to blend our formerly 100% Jewish family with Christian ones, I was ready to rise to the occasion for the big man. And I could feel that he was happy to accept me into his family of Mariah Carey, Toyotathon, and sugar cookie enthusiasts.
I’m not going to get into the religion aspect of the season, and I’m definitely not going to get into the capitalist aspect, but I will say this: you can never have too big an outpouring of love at the holidays. For me, that love extends to Santa, Hanukkah Harry, my very Jewish Nana, etc.
And it is on behalf of everyone at The Thrill that I wish you a happy Hanukkah. And a Merry Christmas, as long as you keep in mind that Santa’s usually gonna put me first. Especially since I refrained from comparing him to my other white-haired icon, Larry David, for this entire article.