Bart: Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
It's Christmas again, the biggest holiday of Christianity after Easter, and everyone gathers around to celebrate the holiday traditions, open some presents, and maybe go to church— yes, we said everybody, even the ones who aren't Christian or even religious at all. Shows that have characters who are conspicuously Jewish (or simply 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. Also, people already held end-of-the-year festivities centuries before Christ's birth and the Church simply adapted Jesus' birth to that date because these pagan festivities were too popular to simply ignore or surpress.
Compare and contrast Do They Know It's Christmas Time?, when the characters learn the True Meaning of Christmas only for it to become a Forgotten Aesop in the next episode. Also contrast You Mean "Xmas", when there's a non-Christian holiday that just so happens to correspond to Christmas, and Santa Clausmas, where Christmas is related to Christ In Name Only. See also Ambiguously Christian, where details of the character's faith are left unspecific, and Jesus Was Way Cool when people who aren't Christian still admire that guy Christians celebrate. No relation to Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory.
- Sailor Moon: The Sailor Moon S Movie was set at Christmas, and the principle cast recorded a Christmas Album.
- Kimagure Orange Road had a Christmas episode, involving a "Groundhog Day" Loop. In one loop, a bitter, stood-up Ayukawa bah-humbug'ed Christmas, subverting the trope when the interviewer suggested she must be a fundamentalist Buddhist!
- Ranma ½: In the Christmas Episode, Soun and Genma complain some about Christmas, saying they much preferred things when Buddhism was the religion of choice in Japan. Upon being reminded that there is typically a big dinner served on Christmas, they suddenly change their tunes and start chanting "Hooray for Christmas!"
- Spoofed with in Full Metal Panic!'s sixth volume, "A Dancing Very Merry Christmas," where Christmas is less the holiday of Christ than it is the holiday of John McClane. It's also noted that Sousuke, having been raised Muslim, is only passingly familiar with the holiday and only comes to assign any significance to it at all because Kaname was born on Christmas Eve.
- In one Harley & Ivy comic Harley Quinn mentions how the place they're staying is boring and has no presents, despite it being December, and asks if they can at least have a Christmas tree. Her eco-terrorist friend Poison Ivy shuts her down and brings up the fact Harley is Jewish. Harley then states that she likes how bright and colorful Christmas trees are. This scene was used earlier in Batman: The Animated Series but left out the mention of Harley being Jewish.
- Shazam: During the New 52 reboot, Freddy Freeman celebrates Christmas with the rest of his foster family (but since no mention is ever made of his Judaism, it's uncertain whether the New 52 version of Freddy is even meant to be Jewish, despite the fact that it used to be one of his most defining characteristics).
- One holiday-themed issue of Uncanny X-Men has Kitty Pryde helping Nightcrawler decorate the mansion for Christmas. When Colossus brings up the fact that Kitty is Jewish, she shrugs and says that she just enjoys the festivities and the presents.
- Subverted and discussed in the fic Good for Goodness Sake. Being Muslim, Kamala doesn't celebrate Christmas. She's also quite critical of the holiday and its commercialism. Her peers call her a Grinch for not being in the "Christmas spirit" like them.
- Rip Her to Shreds depicts almost all of Regina's Girl Posse in Mean Girls, including Regina herself, as Jewish. None of them have an issue with dressing up for a "Jingle Bell Rock" dance number in Christmas dresses.
- Discussed in Black Christmas (2006), where the wet blanket of the group complains about a "pagan sacrifice to ward off evil spirits on Christmas" re: the sorority's tradition of leaving a Christmas present for the serial killer that used to live in the house. Hard-Drinking Party Girl Lauren shows her Hidden Depths by comparing all the stereotypical Christmas items - the tree, mistletoe - to pagan practices.
"What Christmas shit in this room resembles anything Christian? It's all neo-pagan magic."
- And in the 2019 film, Fran mentions that she's Jewish but still wishes Riley a Merry Christmas.
- Despite the fact that Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls is Jewish, she performs "Jingle Bell Rock", which is a Christmas song, with the other Plastics every year for the Winter Talent Show. Justified as Gretchen practically kowtows to Regina if Regina wants her to dance to a Christmas song, then Gretchen will dance to a Christmas song. And to be honest, "Jingle Bell Rock" is not exactly a Christmas carol there's little Christian imagery in that song.
- Harry Potter makes no mention of anyone's religion (Word of God says that minor character Anthony Goldstein is Jewish, suggesting wizards can come from any background), but Hogwarts has an annual Christmas celebration for those who remain at the school during the holidays.
- Subverted in Parrotfish. Grady's mother is Jewish and only begrudgingly puts up with her husband's obsession with Christmas.
- Dr. Walid from the Rivers of London series is a Scottish convert to Islam, but he happily travels to spend Christmas with his family, explaining that: "They celebrate Christmas and I celebrate them." He even brings the turkey, to ensure it's halal.
- Subverted and averted in the Village Tales series. Only Christians are expected to observe Christmas (and the Rector is not terribly chuffed with the sort of parishioner who turns up only for Christmas and Easter, and has worked to church them better). But there is a Christian, and indeed effectively Anglican (after all, the Church of England is Established), service — annually — in which Sikh, Muslim, and unchurched characters (and the retired Gurkhas) living in the District, all participate. It's not Christmas. It's Remembrance Sunday, and no bones about it.
- On Glee, "A Very Glee Christmas" has Rachel predictably 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 later season's Christmas episodes "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" and "Previously Unaired 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. It was at least subverted in season four's "Glee, Actually" where Puck and his brother Jake have an entire sequence about them celebrating Hannukah with their mothers.
- 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, Fran Fine, and her Jewishness came up in most episodes, had several Christmas specials.
- Season 3's "Oy To The World" was an animated Christmas special, drawn in the style of the Animated Credits Opening.
- Another Christmas Episode was quite ecumenical, season 6's "The Hanukkah Story" 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 comedy and variety show in the early days of television (and, before that, on radio) had at least one 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 Jesus was a good man whose birth was worth celebrating, even if he (Mike) didn't believe that he was actually 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, pointing out it's a Christian celebration for the birth of Jesus, whereas his mother claims it's just a universal holidy (mostly because of its large commercialism). When the rest of the family (reluctantly) turn up, Adam's father's mother (nicknamed Horrible Grandma) actually refuses to call it Christmas dinner, instead claiming it's for Hanukkah.
- 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).
- Carried over in the third season's "Regional Holiday Music", in which Troy is slated to spend the day with his family that pointedly doesn't observe Christmas. Shirley plans to gift her "persuadable Jewish friends" with a surprise visit from her pastor, but Annie plans to observe her people's custom of spending the day at the movies with her 'bubbie'.
- Also in "Regional Holiday Music," played with when Annie gets brainwashed into joining the Glee club. She tries to seduce Jeff into joining by putting on a Sexy Santa Dress and acting like a Brainless Beauty who knows absolutely nothing about Christmas due to being a Jew. Jeff is more squicked than anything; it's been established that he's attracted to her because she's intelligent and mature, so lapsing into Baby Talk and calling him "daddy" is the exact opposite of what he wants.
Jeff: You are an intelligent woman. Also you're Jewish.
- Averted in Arrow: when Oliver wishes Felicity Smoak a merry Christmas, she explains that she doesn't celebrate it because she's Jewish.
- On The Goldbergs, Beverly is jealous of the Kremp's Christmas celebrations and decides to turn Hanukkah into "Super Hanukkah", where they gather around the Hanukkah bush and save all the present giving for the last day... in other words, Christmas. Pops is upset that his daughter is betraying their heritage and tries to rectify things. Meanwhile, Adam and Barry are shown watching Christmas specials and movies and get involved in a subplot parodying the Tongue on the Flagpole scene from A Christmas Story.
- Averted in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend where Rebecca is seen casually dumping her Christmas decorations in the trash and putting up Chanukah ones before her very judgemental Jewish Mother comes to visit.
- In the Norwegian Christmas series Jul i Skomakergata (Christmas in Shoemaker Street), the main character, shoemaker Jens Petrus Andersen owns a bible. But the only time we see it during the 24 episode long series (and indeed the only time religion is mentioned) is when he picks it up on Christmas Eve to read the Nativity tale to the neighbourhood kids.
- Schitt's Creek: Subverted. Stevie wishes Patrick a Merry Christmas and when David asks why she didn't do the same to him, she replies that she thought he was Jewish. David explains that his father is Jewish and his mother is not so he is a "half and half situation" and then complains that his father wants him to celebrate Christmas even though he has no authority over the holiday. His father Johnny is portrayed as embracing the secular side of Christmas but also searching for the family's menorah.
- In Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, the Jewish Mr. Hooper generally takes part in the rest of the street's Christmas celebrations and even hangs a wreath and a sign that says "Noel" in his store. Still, Bob does wish him "Happy Hanukkah," to which he responds with a warm, grateful smile.
- "White Christmas", the best-selling single of all time, was written by Irving Berlin, who was Jewish.
- So were such composers and/or lyricists as Mel Tormé ("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"), Walter Kent ("I'll Be Home for Christmas"), Al Stillman ("Home for the Holidays"), Jerry Herman ("We Need a Little Christmas"), George Wyle ("It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"), Felix Bernard ("Winter Wonderland"), Mitchell Parish ("Sleigh Ride"), Ray Evans ("Silver Bells"), and Frank Loesser ("Baby, It's Cold Outside"). Of course, it's worth pointing out that none of these are particularly religious-themed Christmas songs, and in fact some of them don't even mention the holiday by name.
- On the other hand, even some of the most beloved traditional, religious carols are set to music composed by Jews. Case in point: "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", set to a movement of Felix Mendelssohn's Festgesang cantata.note
- Then there's "O Holy Night", which had a Jewish composer (Adolphe Adam), an atheist who wrote the original French lyrics (Placide Cappeau), and a Unitarian minister who wrote the English lyrics (John Sullivan Dwight).
- Such Jewish artists as Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Neil Diamond, Barry Manilow, and Kenny G have all recorded Christmas albums.
- While it's not really a Christmas number, the gospel/rock song "Spirit in the Sky" includes lyrics such as "I got a friend in Jesus" and was written by Norman Greenbaum, a Jew who simply liked gospel songs as an art form and wanted to write one.
- A variant example: The Jackson 5 released a very popular Christmas album in 1970, but being that they were Jehovah's Witnesses, they were Christians who would not have themselves celebrated Christmas.
- Subverted in the Saints Row IV DLC "How the Saints Saved Christmas". While attempting to harness the spirit of Christmas to stop Santa Clawz, future Kinzie realizes that Christmas alone won't provide enough holiday energy and calls upon other solstice-era holidays, like Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even Festivus (although the latter has several Take Thats aimed at it).
- 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.
- Mitch Benn's Christmas Message takes the view that the midwinter festival is an ancient thing, and there's nothing wrong with calling it Christmas, but that doesn't mean it's just for Christians, concluding that if only Christians get to have Christmas, then only Vikings get to have Thursday.
- Par for the course in Jake and Amir, but Lampshaded when Amir sends a threatening letter to Santa Claus, prompting Jake to say, "You know you're Jewish, right?"
- As Told by Ginger has Ginger discover she's part Jewish, and insists on celebrating Chanukah. She's even reluctant to bake Christmas cookies with Dodie because of it. She ultimately decides to throw an 'Even Stevens' holiday party - with both Christmas and Chanukah themes.
- 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:
Lisa: Hey, I thought Krusty was Jewish.
- 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.
Bart: Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.
Even though we're not GentileWe get together for a whileTo shoot the breezeAnd eat Chinese'Cos Christmas time is here! Oy!
- Invoked on the episode where Lisa becomes a Buddhist ("She Of Little Faith"). Utilizing the fact that it's Christmas (even though this is the episode's first mention of the holiday season), the family makes the house as nice as possible and essentially lure Lisa back with presents (Lisa, both because she learns to be more open-minded with other people's religious beliefs and because she wants to get presents, pretty much does).
- And lampshaded later by Krusty's father in a musical number:
- 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. However, from the way that Billy says it, it sounds like he and his family only celebrate it as a way to get more presents.
- 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.
- Tommy is half-Jewish on his mother's side, and naturally has an episode celebrating Chanukah in addition to Christmas. The other families, who are Christian, take part in the Chanukah celebrations too, inverting the trope. They do similar with an episode about Passover.
- There's also the variant where Susie is given an episode celebrating Kwanzaa, while the other babies are at her house. Although Susie was actually absent from both the Christmas Episodes of the parent series, she features in the one in All Grown Up!.
- Sabrina: The Animated Series has Chloe's father throwing a Christmas party and dressing up as Santa, while forcing Chloe to dress up as an elf. In the process of invoking Yet Another Christmas Carol with Gem, when she witnesses this scene, wonders why they're doing this since "her family celebrates Kwanzaa".
- 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!
Hey there Mr. Muslim, Merry f**king Christmas
- On the other hand, there's Mr. Garrison's song...
Put down that book the Koran and hear some holiday wishes.
In case you haven't noticed It's Jesus's birthday.
So get off your heathen Muslim ass and f**king celebrate.
- This is played straight in "Christmas Snow," where Kyle and his family are shown celebrating Christmas.
- Averted (somewhat preachily) in Static Shock: In the holiday special for the series, which explores the religious aspects of Christmas, everybody in Virgil's religiously/ethnically-diverse neighbourhood takes part in Christmas celebrations...but also Hannukkah and even Ramadan events.
- Taken to hilarious extremes in Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of Mouse, but also actually justified—Mickey makes a wish that "everyone" would have Christmas spirit, and it meant everyone, even characters whose original work took place in pre- or non-Christian cultures. While it's easy to believe good guys already having Christmas spirit in the name of friendship, even some bad guys are shown partaking in the merriment—and one of those bad guys, Hades, is a god himself.
- In the western world, major Christian holidays have become so ingrained in the culture that virtually everyone celebrates in some way, if for no other reason than they get time off from work and school. In the United States, 8 out of 10 non-Christans celebrate Christmas in some way,
- Christmas in Japan is more or less entirely secular, although some Buddhist families justify it by teaching about Hoteiosho, who is a Buddhist figure similar to Santa Claus.
- Some Muslim-majority countries observe Christmas out of respect to their Christian minorities, and of course to have another excuse to decorate the streets and drum up sales in the stores. Pakistan, Senegal, and Indonesianote set up prominent classic Christmas activities like Santa meets and outdoor Christmas trees.
- As most religious folks can attest, many people who don't think much about Christianity the rest of the year do make it a point to go to Christmas services. Churches generally offer special services with concerts or other presentations to attract them and hopefully persuade them to come more regularly.note
- Inverted: A few Christian sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses and (certain) Quakers don't believe in celebrating any holidays at all, as they believe that all days should be treated as equally holy. So at Christmas time, they can appear to be less conspicuously Christian than all their secular friends who are merrily celebrating the birth of Jesus. There's irony for you.
- Also inverted with the obscure Jewish custom of "Nittel Nacht" on December 24, where Jews are basically supposed to go out of their way to avoid doing anything to dignify Christmas Eve, with some communities even regarding Christmas Eve as a Halloween-ish night where evil spirits roam free. This arose out of tension between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe. These days, only some ultra-Orthodox sects even acknowledge Nittel Nacht, and it's never been practiced by the Sephardim, who historically didn't live in areas where Christianity was dominant.