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Monday, December 28, 2009

The Politically Over-Corrected Christmas

I am not generally a huge fan of the New Yorker magazine....or of anything remotely connected to New York City, with the exception of one cousin and some friends who are otherwise such neat people that I can even forgive them for being from the Big Apple.

It is, after all, the place my family ran from as fast as their finances would allow. I've been there. Nice to visit, couldn't pay me to live there.

OTOH, Beth Steinberg tipped me to this tidbit, which is the funniest, snarkiest thing I've seen on political correctness run amok around Christmas. Bad enough that my son's public school teachers were instructed to NOT wish anyone "Merry Christmas" for fear of offending non-Christians, but now offices are having "holiday parties." One year, I couldn't convince my former boss that the reason I didn't go to the office Christmas Party wasn't because it was called a "Christmas Party"--it was so the front office staff COULD go, and the receptionists weren't allowed to party because they had to relieve each other on the phones. So I took the phones for the afternoon, along with another attorney, so our receptionists could relax for one single afternoon of the year. But everyone wigged out over the fact that, "Gosh, she's Jewish, maybe we've offended her!"

Hey, I went to the stupid party for years when it was a "Christmas Party" and only stopped going so I could help out reception. Good grief!

So everyone is so worried about offending non-Christians at Christmas that they've tried to rob the holiday of its religious significance. Sad.

So here it is, Big Apple humor which pokes fun at the idiocy of being TOO politically correct and post-modernly sensitive, to the point where you've overdone it into boorish rudeness:

Holly or Challah?
by Paul Rudnick December 21, 2009

Just because anyone with half a brain celebrates Christmas, no one should ever use the holiday to make non-Christians feel uncomfortable. Here are some tips to help the sensitive Christian make everyone, no matter what they’re wearing on their head, feel at ease and have a Happy Interfaith Holiday Season!

1. When non-Christians are present, don’t call Jesus “Our Saviour,” “Our Lord,” or “Mister Perfect.” Refer to him more casually, as “the Son of God, or maybe not,” “the Jew that got away,” or “the bachelor.” When chatting with Jews, try to avoid the subject of the death of Jesus. If a Jew asks, “So how did Jesus die?,” simply reply, “Natural causes.”

2. Don’t refer to Christmas as a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Instead, try calling it “the world’s day off ” or “a big party for almost everyone.” Instead of saying “Merry Christmas!,” try calling out, “The plain wrapping paper is right over there in the corner!”

3. If you’re visiting a mixed couple during the holidays, here are a couple of gift suggestions: for the Christian wife, a bayberry-scented candle or a fresh evergreen wreath; for the Jewish husband, a lovely framed portrait of his parents, rending their clothes and sobbing.

4. Try to take a delighted interest in the Jewish holidays by asking questions like “Do you ever create a tiny Victorian village under your menorah?,” “Does your family sing ‘Silent Night’ in Hebrew?,” and “When you were little, did you ever wonder if Santa hated you?”

5. When you’re walking down the street with a Jewish friend and you pass a sidewalk Santa, say something comforting, like “Jesus barely knew him,” or “I bet you liked sitting on the big rabbi’s lap.” You might even introduce Santa to your friend by saying, “Santa, this is Richard Weiner. And it really doesn’t matter if he’s been bad or good.”

6. On Christmas Eve, why not remind Jewish children to leave out milk and cookies for Mayor Bloomberg?

7. For a jolly holiday film festival, invite your Jewish neighbors over and screen “White Christmas,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” and “Munich.”
8. When a Jewish friend compliments your Christmas tree, modestly reply, “Oh, but it’s not as nice as your couch.”

9. Change the words to popular Christmas songs, as in “Frosty the Orthodox Rebbe,” “Deck the Halls with Photos of Your Many Beautiful Grandchildren,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Our Accountant.”

10. Never refer to Hanukkah as “their Christmas,” “Merry Wannabe,” or “the Goldberg variation.”

11. For real holiday enchantment, tell your kids the story of “Yussel, the Reindeer Who Spent the Whole Night Studying.”

12. If your town wants to put up a life-size crèche on public property, suggest that there should also be, right beside the Nativity scene, mannequins representing a Jewish family, sitting outside the manger and reading the Sunday Times. ♦


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