Another day in December, another Hanukkah-Christmas parody video making the rounds on the internet. Today it’s “The Jews and Don’ts of Christmas,” a faux infomercial on how Jews can enjoy/get through a Christmas party in one piece. And frankly, beyond a few clever moments and excellent production value, this video has me scratching my head more than laughing.
“Christmas parties can be scary for Jewish boys and girls,” the video begins, “but Christmas parties are just like Hanukkah parties… with quieter people.”
Let me stop you right there. The whole Jews are a lively, boisterous crowd while non-Jews are uptight, quiet, and more “proper” is a tired stereotype that just isn’t true, and I have plenty of loud-mouthed non-Jewish friends to prove it. The video goes on to offer tips such as, “Don’t be afraid of small talk. Goyim love small talk,” a scene which implies that non-Jews are only capable of chatting about things like brunch and day-drinking (which is not to knock those things–but Jews love them, too). Then there’s the line about avoiding ham, as if all Jews keep kosher. And just, well, I could go on, but you might as well watch for yourself:
It’s totally possible I’m hopped up on cold medicine and way overthinking this (if you’re reading this in Brooklyn, please send chicken soup stat) but I guess I’m tired of the same old tropes being used to distinguish Jews and “the goyim” when they just no longer ring true (and I’m not sure if they ever did). I’m all for holiday humor, but how about something new for a change?