Everyone Is Christian At Christmas
Hey, I thought Krusty was Jewish. Bart:
Christmas is a time when people of all
religions come together to worship Jesus Christ
Shows that have characters who are conspicuously Jewish
(or otherwise not Christian) the rest of the year, usually flat out ignore this fact during the required Christmas Episode
, or barely mention it in a very token sort of way. Santa Clausmas
comes up frequently. This could be justified in that many non-Christians socially celebrate Christmas with friends, despite having no ties to the holiday themselves.
- On Glee, "A Very Glee Christmas" has Rachel tokenly mention her Jewishness as a reason for why she doesn't normally give Christmas presents, but dressing up, decking the halls and singing Christmas carols, on the other hand, are totally fine. Puck, who also likes to conspicuously mention his Judaism, never says anything about it in the episode. Made even worse in the following season's Christmas episode "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" where Rachel's Judaism isn't even given a passing mention (nor is Puck's for that matter) and she's all about Christmas.
- The "Secret Santa" episode of Warehouse 13 puts a dreidel by the name of Saul Rubinek (the actor playing Artie) in the credits, and Claudia does give a Jewish prayer at the end of the episode. But most of Artie and Claudia's plotline in the episode revolves around the Christmas present she is trying to get him (which ends up being both a musical instrument and a reunion with his father).
- The Nanny, a show that had a Jewish main character, and her Jewishness came up in most episodes, had an animated Christmas special. Another Christmas Episode was quite ecumenical: It shows Fran praying together with a (Christian) nun, and the Christmas Miracle that saves Maxwell, Gracie and C.C. was intentionally similar to the miracle in the Hanukkah story.
- On Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Willow once mentioned that her dad didn't like her watching Christmas specials on television and she had to sneak over to Xander's house to do it. She also mentions her religion both times it's Christmas in the series ("Amends" and a flashback in "The Body"), but in the latter still has a big holiday feast with everybody else.
- Inverted, or at least exported on Sports Night. Dan gets the crew together for a Passover Seder despite the fact that he and Jeremy are the only Jewish characters.
- Pretty much every show in the early days of television had an elaborate Christmas episode, with Christmas carols and everything. This can sometimes seem weird with obviously Jewish comedians like Eddie Cantor. When you think about it, it seems odd even with less stereotypical Jewish comedians, like Jack Benny and George Burns (he was Jewish, but Gracie Allen was Catholic).
- In one Christmas episode of House, someone had to remind Wilson that he's Jewish. It didn't stop him from celebrating Christmas with vocal atheist House.
- In an early 3rd Rock from the Sun episode, the aliens tried to figure out what ethnicity they should be, eventually settling on Jewish. Their supposedly being Jewish was occasionally mentioned in subsequent episode, but was not mentioned at all in the Christmas episode.
- Oddly enough, Mike Stivic from All in the Family enjoyed celebrating Christmas even though he was an out-spoken atheist. His view was that it celebrated the birth of Jesus who was a person whose birth was worthy to celebrate. He just didn't believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
- In Friends, Ross and Monica celebrate Christmas, though they're Jewish.
- Invoked in Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves where Paul, who is Jewish, puts up tons of Christmas decorations and hosts an annual Christmas party for his True Companions. The other characters frequently call him on it but he just shrugs it off.
Paul: Here's to the savior!
Seppo: You're Jewish.
Paul: So what? Besides, Jesus was, too.
- Lampshaded on Friday Night Dinner. The whole premise of the series is about a Jewish family meeting for Sabbath dinner, yet the 2nd season finale is a Christmas Episode. Throughout the episode, Adam frequently tells his mother how ridiculous it is that they're having an elaborate Christmas dinner. Martin's mother(Horrible Grandma) actually refuses to call it Christmas dinner, instead claiming it's for Hanukkah.
- Community: Notably averted in "Comparative Religion". Fed up with the Dean's pushing an inclusive, nondenominational holiday, Shirley organizes an overtly religious Christmas party - then is surprised to find she's the only Christian in the group. Annie is Jewish, Abed is Muslim, Britta is an atheist, Jeff is agnostic (called "lazy man's atheist"), Pierce is in a New Age cult calling itself Buddhist, and Troy is a Jehovah's Witness (technically Christian but doesn't observe Christmas).
- Averted in Arrow: when Oliver wishes Felicity Smoak a merry Christmas, she explains that she doesn't celebrate it because she's Jewish.
Religion and Mythology
- "White Christmas", the best-selling single of all time, was written by Irving Berlin, who was Jewish.
- So were Mel Tormé (who wrote "The Christmas Song"), Johnny Marks ("Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree", among other seasonal ditties), J. Fred Coots ("Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"), Jerry Herman ("We Need a Little Christmas"), George Wyle ("It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"), and Ray Evans ("Silver Bells"). Of course, it's worth pointing out that none of these are particularly religious-themed Christmas songs.
- Such Jewish artists as Barbra Streisand, Kenny G, and Bob Dylan have all recorded Christmas albums.
- Neil Diamond, also Jewish, has released three separate Christmas albums: The Christmas Album, The Christmas Album 2, and A Cherry Cherry Christmas.
- Depending on country or location, it may not be uncommon for both non-religious people and non-Christians to also celebrate Christmas. A few western Christmas traditions are taken from pagan celebrations anyway.
- DC Nation works with this yearly with the annual compromise at the Dibny household. Ralph gets to decorate (copious amounts of purple are involved), and he gets to be a big, stretchy kid. (This has been amplified since their daughter came into the picture) Topping the tree is a "only a good idea in the 50's" electric menorah with bright purple lights. Sue just stands back and lets him because she thinks it's side-splittingly funny to watch her hubby and daughter literally bounce around the house.
- In Kim Possible, Ron is shown in previous episodes to be Jewish. This doesn't stop him from having an unbridled and passionate love for celebrating Christmas.
- Lampshaded on Danny Phantom, when Sam notes that she loves Christmas despite not even celebrating it. (Notably, the Hanukkah scene later in the episode is the only indication she's Jewish in the entire series.)
- Lampshaded at least twice in The Simpsons:
- One episode where Kent Brockman, hosting the Springfield Christmas Parade, extols the holiday as a wonderful season "whether you're Christian, or simply not Jewish."
- Namechecked by Lisa and Bart when watching a Krusty Christmas special.
Lisa: Hey, I thought Krusty was Jewish.
Bart: Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy spends its whole Christmas Episode with Billy an obsessed lover of Christmas, only to offhandedly mention in The Stinger that he actually celebrates Hanukkah.
- On Phineas and Ferb the cast are all lamenting the fact that Santa isn't coming, when Phineas asks Isabella if there's a special Christmas gift she's worried about not getting. Despite having participated fully in the Christmas Episode so far she admits that her family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so it really doesn't matter to her.
"But I got the coolest gifts for Hanukkah! Eight straight days of dreams come true! ...I mean, I'm with you guys. Boo, no Christmas."
- The second Christmas special indicates that she actually celebrates both.
- Rugrats has Tommy's family celebrating both Hannukah and Christmas.
- Justified by the implication that Didi is Jewish but Stu isn't. Sort of Inverted, actually, since non-Jewish characters take part in the Hanukkah and Passover specials.
- They also have a Kwanzaa episode where Suzi's family celebrates both Christmas and Kwanzaa. Blended/diverse families seem to be somewhat of a theme with Rugrats.
- Averted on South Park, with Kyle's song "A Lonely Jew on Christmas".
It's hard to be a Jew on Christmas
My friends won't let me join in any games
And I can't sing Christmas songs or decorate a Christmas tree
Or leave water out for Rudolph 'cause there is something wrong with me
My people don't believe in Jesus Christ's divinity!
- While many Danish people are Christians, it is usually only to a minor degree, and they live a non-religious life most of the time. Only a very small percentage actually attends church services except for funerals, baptisms etc. (The so-called "culture Christianity"). However, at Christmas, it is very common to attend the service in the afternoon before Christmas Eve, to the degree that one third of all Danes do it and it is actually getting more popular despite fewer and fewer Danes being religious. It is just an ingrown tradition in many families that is strongly connected to the Christmas spirit. And many "culture Christians", agnostics and atheists will attend despite not doing it the rest of the year. In fact, some genuinely Christian people have complained that the service is becoming more of a show than an actual religious gathering because so many non-religious people just attend for the sake of getting in a Christmas mood.
- Everything described above applies to all Scandinavian countries. To some degree, it also applies to several other European countries.