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The Story of Jewsmas

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful holiday celebrated by the Jewish people, called Chanukah, or the Festival of Lights.  Each year, the Jewish people gathered to remember a time over 2,000 years ago, when a small band of Jewish fighters rose up and drove the Syrians out of Israel and reclaimed their freedom. 

When these fighters returned to the holy city of Jerusalem, they found their temple defiled and used as a pig sty and they found the Eternal Flame of the temple extinguished.  They cleared the rubble and swine and even found a small cruse of olive oil bearing a holy seal, but sadly, there was only enough oil to burn for one day.  They lit the flame anyhow, and by a miracle, that flame burned not for one day, but for eight days, enough time that new oil could be made and the eternal flame could burn unquenched.  In memory of that wondrous time, each year in mid-December, on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, Jews light candles for eight nights, filling their houses with light.

But a great misfortune was to befall Chanukah.  It fell near the Christian holiday of Christmas, and so when well-meaning Christians wanted to say something besides "Merry Christmas" to their Jewish friends, they grasped for the nearest holiday and said "Happy Chanukah".  Jewish children saw the presents their Christian friends received and asked why they didn't get any, and so well-meaning Jewish parents started to give Chanukah presents. And slowly Chanukah began to dissolve and degrade into little more than a Jewish version of Christmas.

But we know that Chanukah is not the Jewish Christmas! No, we must reclaim Chanukah for what it is: a celebration of freedom, faith and miracles from G-d.  And to do that, we create a new holiday, the Jewish Christmas. From this time forward, each year on the first Saturday after Christmas, Jews and Christians shall gather together and celebrate Jewsmas.

On Jewsmas, we decorate a house plant with colored lights, we eat fondue, and we play dreidel drinking games.  On Jewsmas, we take gifts from beneath the decorated plant and give them to our Jewish and Christian friends alike. On Jewsmas, we drink Manischevitz wine with soda water.  On Jewsmas, we celebrate the knowledge that Chanukah is not the goddamn Jewish Christmas, so leave it the hell alone!

Interested in starting a Jewsmas tradition in your home?  Read more about Jewsmas traditions, view tasty Jewsmas recipes, buy some Jewsmas threads and e-mail us for more info!

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