It’s Christmas time For The Jews

I enjoy Christmas with a zeal that only someone that comes from half a Jewish family background can have. I know my mother really enjoyed putting on Christmas, probably more so because she was raised in a Jewish household. When she married my Catholic-raised father and had children she threw herself into the festivities. Even long after they were divorced we still celebrated Christmas. Her favorite game was to say teasingly, “Let’s not have a Christmas tree this year!” to see our reaction and we always would exclaim, NO! WE WANT A TREE!  I recall walking with her on a particularly brisk Winnipeg winter evening to the Loblaws parking lot to pick out a live tree. We had to drag the poor frozen thing down the back lane to our house. It took a whole day for the tree to unthaw after we cut the strings that wound its way around its brittle branches. I don’t know why I am fond of this memory, but I suppose it was the special time that we spent together and it was a rare time that I remember my mother’s laughter as we had to run -walk to keep our feet from freezing on our way home.

At this time of year, I sometimes can’t help myself and say things such as, “let’s not give presents this year,” just to see my family’s look of horror. This is one of the traits I have inherited from my mother. I have also inherited some of her Christmas ornaments.  I love them with a  ridiculously strong sense of sentimentality.  I treasure a plastic angel and a red apple. I have been hanging these small tokens onto the branches of various trees for over forty- five years. Many people believe that this holiday is steeped in too much mass consumerism, which I agree with. But I believe that for most people this time of year is all about what your family creates together; whether it is sitting at the dining room table together with your Zeida (grandfather) celebrating Hannukah- eating heaping bowls of buttery perogies as part of a feast that took your baba all day to prepare. Or whether you are sitting around a fragrant hand-cut Christmas tree with your family eating seafood together on Christmas Eve. We shouldn’t get hung up on the other stuff, because we all know that it really isn’t about the stuff, it’s about the people you spend it with. The ornaments that we love—we love because of the people we have hung them with.

I am just reminding myself of this.

Click below for SNL’s It’s Christmas time for the Jews

Want a different kind of Christmas movie suggestion?

If you are in the mood for something a bit dark and like a character study with a Christmas twist try All is Bright, with two amazing actors-Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd, there is nothing formula about it. It is dark, funny and bittersweet.

Merry Christmas Signed the Braggers


Do you ever get a Christmas card like this and want to stomp all over it? Does it make you ashamed that while everyone is out there making a difference all you have managed to do is to gain weight- after being on a diet for three weeks and you just lost your good job right when both your kids have decided to go to university? Are the only things that you have to mention in your own Christmas letter is that you have binge-watched an entire season of Outlander and are working your way through all of Grey’s Anatomy?

Here is an example of one of those annoying  Christmas letters, you know the ones that I mean—-the ones that sound like this:

Dear Friends and family:

I hate to brag, but I have recently joined the gym and now weigh less than I did in high school. See pictures of me in my new bikini. My husband just made a killing in the stock market —that is why we are standing in front of our new yacht! We have both decided to retire early.

 Poppy our brilliant daughter has figured out how to turn back global warming and our dog saved our neighbourhood just last week by barking and leading everyone to safety when a wildfire blew through the forest. Note the award hanging around his furry brave neck!

We realized that we are not only everyone’s favourite neighbour but now fashion designers are copying our funky hats that we invented out of locally grown hemp fibres that can be woven into adorable little hats- we send them to all the new babies throughout the hospitals across the nation. The paper that this card is on is made from deer poop that we collected ourselves and fashioned into this  Christmas Holiday card. We try to never use precious paper resources if we don’t have to.

We have recently been contacted by an alien race who wish us to join them in an intergalactic party to meet and greet with other species. We are very excited about this one! But don’t worry we will post lots of pictures on Instagram.


Merry Christmas Signed the Braggers