Holiday Wisdom

12.19.11

Matisyahu’s 10 Things to Help a Jew Get Through Christmas Season

In honor of his recently released EP, Miracle—and upcoming “Festival of Light” performances—the world’s preeminent Hasidic rapper offers his top 10 tips, from watching Die Hard to hitting the slopes.

Christmas can be a difficult time for a Jew in a Gentile world. Insofar as we can’t ask WWJD (for a number of reasons), here are a couple of tips for Jewish people to survive the holiday season:

10. Watch Die Hard. In a world of saccharine holiday movies, there is Die Hard and there is everything else. Enjoy Bruce Willis as John McClane, a New York City cop trapped in the Nakatomi building on Christmas Eve; battling terrorists, crawling through glass. Yippee ki-yay, mother----er! I feel better already.

9. Go skiing. Wondering where your fellow countrymen are this holiday season? Get a lift pass! While the Christian world is homebound and egg-nogged, you and yours can find the fresh powder.

8. Be thankful you’re a muggle. Having a hard time navigating the mall? Be happy you’re not at Diagon Alley or stuck at Hogwarts for Christmas. That’s right, if you’re a wizard, you’d better not be a Jew. There is no menorah in the Gryffindor common room or any mention of Chanukah in any Harry Potter book. Daniel Radcliffe may be Jewish, but in J. K. Rowling’s wizarding world, Jews aren’t even squibs.

7. NBA! The lockout is finally over. Kick back and watch the start of the NBA season on Christmas Day.

6. Step your game up! Iron the crease off the yarmulke from Uncle Kenny’s wedding and go to synagogue for once.

5. Change the lyrics of famous Christmas carols into Chanukah songs. To the tune of: “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”:

“Dreidels spin, are you listening?
Christmas Day, I’m not missing
Keep your ham and pies
’Cause I’m circumcised
Walking in a Jewish wonderland”

4. Food coma! Numb your feelings of cultural and religious isolation with copious amounts of greasy latkes and chocolate coins.

3. Help enforce negative stereotypes for future generations. Install a parking meter on your chimney.

2. Chinese food. It’s a clichéd tradition, but for good reason. Chinese restaurants are open on Christmas, the crowd is sparse, and everybody should enjoy hot-and-sour soup on Jesus’s birthday. It’s what he would order.

1. Stop complaining and illuminate the darkness. Help make the world a better place by increasing acts of goodness and kindness.