13 Differences Between Christmas and Chanukah

Thought this was amusing, no matter what your religion, and decided to share. Enjoy!

1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25. Jews also love December=2 025th. It’s another paid day off work. We go to the movies and out for Chinese food and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure.  Jews never know until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts forcing us to consult a calendar so we don’t look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida) or other Jewish funeral homes.

2. Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat.

3. Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos, etc. Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks or the collected works of the Rambam, which looks impressive on the bookshelf.

4. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc.

5. Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah.

6. Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis.

7. Christmas carols are beautiful…Silent Night, Come All Ye Faithful. Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and da ncing the hora. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don’t Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully?

8. A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful like the sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once.

9. Christian women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Jewish women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages.

10. Parents deliver presents to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift on any of the eight nights.

11. The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus , Judah Maccabee and Matta whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

12. Many Christians believe in the virgin birth.  Jews think, “Yossela, Bubela, snap out of it. Your woman is pregnant, you didn’t sleep with her, and now you want to blame G-d? Here’s the number of my shrink”.

13. In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holida y such as Yom Kippur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200 per person. Better stick with Chanukah!

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Mr. Hankey Saves Kyle and Christmas in the First South Park Christmas Episode, 110, “Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo”

It’s the first South Park Christmas episode ever. And you know what that means! It’s time to meet Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo, the latest and greatest Holiday Season icon who’s there for everyone, no matter what s/he celebrates. As long as you have a high fiber diet then Mr. Hankey will be coming to your town.

Of course, as South Park’s Christmas falls apart do to an overemphasis on the separation between church and state and a misguided attempt not to offend anyone with any kind of decoration or festivity, the Broflovskis are not amused at Kyle’s suggestion to the mayor that Mr. Hankey become the new Christmas icon.

In fact, Kyle finds himself in increasing levels of trouble (and then the nut house) when Mr. Hankey comes around and makes a mess in the bathroom and later launches himself at Cartman after he sings about what a bitch Kyle’s mom is. Dubbed a fecopheliac, Kyle is locked away by his friends. Backstage at the disastrous elementary school play, however, Chef asks about Kyle’s whereabouts and upon learning what happened, tells the children that Mr. Hankey is real.

That’s when Mr. Hankey can finally be seen by everyone else and he saves the day on Christmas by telling the town:

“You people focus so hard on the things wrong with Christmas that you’ve forgotten what’s so right about it. Don’t you see? This is the one time of year we’re s’posed to forget all the bad stuff, to stop worrying and being sad about the state of the world, and for just one day say, ‘Aw, the heck with it! Let’s sing and dance and bake cookies.’”

Then the whole town goes out to the nut house and rescues Kyle; they all sing Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo’s special song. And miraculously enough, Kenny doesn’t die!

What do you think of this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Ike Broflovski is Taken to Saddam Hussein’s Canada in South Park Episode 715, “Christmas in Canada”

When Ike Broflovski’s birth-parents interrupt quiet, family Hanukah prayers and insist on taking Ike back to Canada by decree of the new Canadian Prime Minister, Sheila and Gerald Broflovski are devastated. Cartman tells Kyle that this is what he gets for being Jewish at Christmas time: some Jesus revenge. In a show of unprecedented good faith, the South Park townsfolk offer to forgo Christmas gift-giving and donate all of their money to the Broflovskis for legal fees to take their case to Canada.

Rather than lose Christmas, the boys decide to help Kyle go to Canada and confront the Canadian Prime Minister about taking Ike. The whole time they want to hurry back to South Park, though, so that they are sure not to miss out on any Christmas adventures. Funny, since they are traversing Canada by foot after their plane crashed and confronting all sorts of weird and wacky characters Wizard of Oz style (with Scott, the dickhead Canadian as the Wicked Witch).

As their plane is crashing (it’s piloted by the same guy who owns City Wok and is called City [Shitty] Airlines), the pilot tells them: “As you can see it appears that we are going down. Now would be a good time to reflect on your life and pray to whatever deity you believe in.”

At the end of the episode, Kyle speaks about the importance of family and who we love and explains to the Canadian Prime Minister – who turns out to be the escaped Saddam Hussein! – that, “Family isn’t about whose blood you have in you. Family’s about the people who cared about you and took care of you. We’re not the same blood, but I love my little brother. We’ve taken care of him because he needed us to, and that makes us more family than anything.”

Very touching and a lovely Christmas episode.

What do you think? What was your favorite part?

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South Park Sings, Dances, Offends and Celebrates in Episode 315, “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics”

This is a ridiculously silly episode and not a conventional one by any means. When I first started watching it, I expected to be bored, and I was pretty annoyed that Trey Parker and Matt Stone thought that they could get away with giving me some bs songs instead of a real Christmas episode. As it turns out, these had to be a lot harder to compose and produce than a regular episode and they were really funny, at that.

The episode is set up like a pitch for a Christmas album by Mr. Hankey, and he share his ten favorite Christmas songs with us, each of varying length but all sung by South Park characters in hilarious and new ways.

Cartman’s rendition of Silent Night that celebrates Jesus’ birth and lets him get presents is quite good. My personal favorites are the Hanukah song that opens everything up (a new take on the Dreidel song) and Mr. Garrison’s around the world explanation of how most people fail to celebrate Christmas adequately. He visits all kinds of eastern religions and countries and pretty much behaves like a bigoted, American asshole. Shocking!

A very amusing episode overall.

What did you think? Which was your favorite song?

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Satanic Forest Creatures Try To Bring the AntiChrist in South Park Episode 814, “Woodland Critter Christmas”

If anyone recalls this episode, he or she will surely agree that it is a disturbing one. The whole thing is told in rhyming couplets after the fashion of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Stan functions as the main character.

Walking through the forest, he stumbles across some woodland critters, each of whom seems goofy and innocent, and who collectively implore him to help save their Christmas by murdering the Mountain Lion that continues to kill the porcupine’s baby year after year. Unaware of what he is doing, Stan does so, but as it turns out – what!? there’s a twist!? – the Mountain Lion was the protector of the world and preventing the Spawn of Satan (aka the antiChrist) from being born. That’s right: Satan was doing the porcupine and the baby was going to be the antiChrist. How exciting!

When Stan then tries to stop this hellaciousness, the woodland critters, possessed demons that they are, use their satanic powers to stop him. They even kill other creatures and then have sex in their blood. “Blood Orgy!!” It is sick and twisted, and what we learn when Kyle later agrees to be the host of the antiChrist so that the Jews can finally have their revenge on Christmas, is that the entire story is made up and being told by Cartman as another way to rip on Kyle at Christmas for being Jewish.

As we learn during the Imaginationland episodes when the most f-ed up thing to come from the evil side of Imaginationland is the Woodland Christmas Critters, we sure wouldn’t want to meet the kid that thought those things up!

What do you think of this episode? What was your favorite part?

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Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vauhn Have Fun in Four Christmases

It seems to me that a movie so obviously related to Christmas might have been coming out a little early when released on Thanksgiving. However, that’s the way of the world (which is to say, America) these days. Once Thanksgiving hits (though this year I’d say it came mid-November) the Holiday Season is upon us.

Typically I’m not that into Vince Vauhn doing romantic comedies. I prefer him in darker or more ridiculous roles, like say, as Norman Bates or his character on Be Cool – “E-Weezey!” However, he did a pretty decent job in this movie. Nothing spectacular, but how often does that word get associated with Vauhn anyway.

Reese Witherspoon, on the other hand, is just the type of woman I like to see in romantic comedies. Not only is she stunning and classically beautiful, fun and spunky, and hints of a little naugtiness behind those big eyes, but she’s a great actress. As usual in these roles she seemed comfortable and at ease, all the while playing an excellent counterpart to Vauhn.

Living in San Francisco made this a particularly good movie for enjoying the oos and ahs of the crowd as it watched various scenes and panoramas of the city. Curiously, though, for those of us in the know, there was no reason for the couple to go over the Golden Gate Bridge on their way to the airport. That’s the opposite direction of the airport and no one is getting to Fiji driving north.

So, the movie was funny, laugh out loud a number of times, a little dumb here and there, a little over the top on ocassion but all in all a very standard and decent Holiday Season romantic comedy. If you’re into that sort of thing, knock yourself out, and if not, I’d just avoid this one.

A simple 5 Chocolate Salty Balls for Four Christmases.

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Santa Goes to Iraq and Jesus Dies in an Amazing South Park Christmas Episode, “Red Sleigh Down,” (618)

Boy, is Comedy Central getting us in the Holiday Spirit by airing some great South Park Christmas episodes, beginning tonight with “Red Sleigh Down,” perhaps one of the most brilliantly conceived and executed 23 minutes of satire ever to have been created in the history of satire. Do you think that’s saying a lot? I certainly do. Take it as a sign that you’re not going to want to miss this episode.

Santa goes to Iraq in order to spread the Christmas spirit to a part of the world sorely in need of some holiday cheer, but Iraqis, uninterested in his western capitalism and false promises, shoot his sleigh out of the air, take him into their lair, and torture him in an excruciating fashion.

The boys and Mr. Hankey (everyone’s favorite Holiday Season icon), in an attempt to rescue Santa, locate Jesus. Jesus takes them all to Iraq where they burst into the militants’ compound and save old Saint Nick. However, on the way out of the compound, Jesus is shot and killed. That’s right. Jesus is killed on his birthday. Jesus died to save Santa, making Christmas a day on which we should remember how Jesus died in order to save us. The theological implications and real world scenario derived from Christian theology make this a sensational episode – among other hilarious and disturbing moments.

Rather than flee Iraq, Santa steers his sleigh back towards Baghdad and shoots missiles at the capital city; these missiles don’t actually destroy anything, but rather, they explode as holiday decorations, presents and cheer.

What an amazing episode, and boy do I hope you watch it. What did you think of the episode? What was your favorite part?

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