Citizen of the Month

the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Month: December 2006 (page 1 of 3)

My Last Post of 2006

newyear.jpg 

One of the coolest events in the Los Angeles area is the Tournament of Roses Parade.  I have always liked it better than the over-produced Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, which is mostly about selling cheesy Broadway shows to tourists from the Midwest.  With my mother in town, Sophia decided that we should actually go to the Pasadena parade this year.  Since none of us are the “camping out on the sidewalk” types, we decided to get tickets by searching on Craig’s List, since most of the good tickets were already sold.  

After several days of looking, Sophia found someone named Mark in Northern California selling his tickets for face value.   Being a cautious type myself, I was reluctant to buy tickets from a stranger, but Sophia liked Mark on the phone, so to make me feel better, she googled his phone number, and proved to me that he was a legitimate guy.  So, off went our money via PayPal. 

After we received our tickets the next morning, Sophia emailed Mark to thank him.  She mentioned that she googled him.   He was gracious and told us to have a great time at the parade.  He also gave some advice — take something to sit on because the benches are uncomfortable.

“Maybe you can even take some padded toilet seats,” Mark joked, proving that just as you can google other people’s names, other people can google YOUR name!”

This will be my last post of 2006.  It was a very good blogging year.  A year ago this very week, I was a depressed and overdramatic blogger, mostly because of an experience I had writing for Blogebrity.    But 2006 was all about good times and friendship.  Bloggers sent me fall leaves when I missed New York.  Bloggers sent me photos of their beds when Sophia was in New York.  Bloggers voted for me in blog elections.  Bloggers sent me gifts.  Bloggers sang Holiday songs.  Thank you, funny bloggers.  Thank you, serious bloggers.  Thank you, poetry bloggers.  Thank you, mommy bloggers.

Neil’s Penis comes out, cheering along.

Neil’s Penis:  Here, here!  And don’t forget the knitting bloggers!  Thank you, too!

Neil:  Well, hello Penis.  You seem to be in a joyous mood.  Usually you’re berating me for our poorly attended sex life.

Neil’s Penis:  Well, a new year requires a new attitude.  And I want to start things fresh.  No more thinking of you as a dunce. 

Neil:  A dunce?!

Neil’s Penis:  Well, in the past, I may have said some unfortunate things about you.  It was mostly out of frustration.  I mean, here you are with women eating out of your hand and you’re not f***ing a single one of them!  What’s the point of doing all this?  But I understand you were brought up to be “respectful” of women and you’re not going to change without a lot of therapy.

Neil:  You should realize that most of the women who blog are very intelligent individuals who wish to express themselves through their writing.  Most of them have college degrees from fancy universities.

Neil’s Penis:   You are so naive.  Don’t you get it?  The fancier the college, the harder they f**k.

Neil:  Penis, please…   Shut your mouth!  This is my last post of  2006.  I don’t want to end things with obscene nonsense.  In fact, I get quite emotional at the end of the year.  I think about my successes and failures of the past year and ponder the future.  And I feel so close to so many of my blogging friends… 

Neil’s Penis:   Jesus, you are such a drama queen!   Success and failures.  Blogging friends.  You are SOOO gay.

Neil:   Penis, I actually have gay readers!  I sincerely apologize to all my gay readers for anything my Penis says.  I do not subscribe to any gender stereotypes.  I believe straights, gays, and transgenders, and all other possible combinations are all…

Neil’s Penis:   You know, if I had to guess which of your blogger friends has the best tits, I would guess Ms. Sizzle.  What do you think?

Neil:  I really don’t think about those things.

Neil’s Penis:   Yeah… RIGHT!  You know your problem is that you complicate things.  That’s your problem with your life.  My approach is simple.  I get up every morning at the crack of dawn, I take care of my business, and then I’m happy for the rest of the day.

Neil:  You know sometimes I wonder why I even let you talk on this blog.  You make this blog so “low-class,” as my mother might say.   Who’s ever going to hire me for a decent job with you hanging around? 

Neil’s Penis:   That’s good.  You won’t need to worry about me hanging around any longer.

Neil:  What do you mean, Penis?

Neil’s Penis:   It’s almost 2007.  And I’ve made my New Year’s resolutions.  One of them is to finally start my own blog.  Why should I always be the second banana — the Lewis to the Martin and Lewis? 

Neil:  Don’t make me laugh.  What kind of blog are YOU going to write?

Neil’s Penis:   A knitting blog.

Neil:  A knitting blog?  You, my Penis, are going to write a knitting blog?

Neil’s Penis:   Have you seen how many readers those knitting blogs get?   How many links?!  Your dumb “personal” blog is never going to get any advertisers.  But imagine the demographics of a blog catering to knitters, especially one written by a Penis!   No one has ever seen that before!  Ka-Ching!  And the best thing about knitters is: these women like to be hands-on — in more ways than one!

Neil:  You’re crazy.  No one is going to read your blog!  You don’t even know how to knit!

Neil’s Penis:   I’ll learn. 

Neil:  It’ll take you years.

Neil’s Penis:   So, what?  It took you 14 years to learn to find a woman’s clitoris, but you finally figured it out, I think.  We all can learn.  Besides, it just happens that when you were watching The Sound of Music last week on TV, I went to the Holiday Party of the Los Angeles chapter of the Stich N Bitch and made quite a few friends…

Neil:   Stich N Bitch?  You’re really serious about this.  I don’t know what to say.   I certainly didn’t want 2006 to end this way — with you and I splitting up.

Neil’s Penis:   (in a whisper)  Psst… don’t worry.  We’re not really going to split up.  This is a a dramatic device called a “cliffhanger,” sucking the reader in with an unresolved ending to make sure they come back on January 1, 2007.

Neil:  (whispered back) Oh, I see.  Thank God!  For a second, I thought you were really going to leave me writing this blog by myself.  I’m already all anxious about what is going to happen in 2007.  I’m damn lucky that I still have you as a loyal friend.  Do I?

Neil’s Penis starts putting on a sweater.

Neil:  Where the hell did you get that?

Neil’s Penis:   Oh, this thing?  It’s just something that a couple of knitting bloggers made for me at the Stitch N Bitch?

ww.jpg
Willie Warmer

Neil’s Penis’ phone rings.

Neil’s Penis:   Hello?  Oh, hi “Knitting Girrrl.”  Sure thing.  With you and and the Knitster?  I love samba music.  I’ll pick you guys up in fifteen minutes.

He hangs up the phone.

Neil’s Penis:   See ya, Neilochka.  Don’t wait up.

Before Neil’s Penis has a chance to leave, Sophia enters.  A curtain closes behind her, hiding Neil and his Penis.   

Sophia:  And so ends another season of “Citizen of the Month.”  What happens next?  Is this really the end of the relationship between Neil and his Penis?  Has his Penis grown so impatient with Neilochka’s lack of a sex life that he has simply moved on?  Is this really the end of the relationship between Neil and myself?  Will Neil ever go into therapy?  Will he find a decent job?  Will he start a new script?  Will he continue his “illegal squatting” at my place?  Will he move out soon or will I have to kick him out into the street?  These questions and MORE will be answered on Citizen of the Month, returning to the blogosphere on January 1, 2007. 

Happy New Year!  Much love from Neilochka and the gang.

The Quest for the Toilet Seat (An Epic)

toilet2.jpg

One of the oldest literary plots is that of the quest, whether it be that of Jason and the Argonauts, The Search for the Holy Grail or The Lord of the Rings. But never in the history of Literature has there ever been a story about a Quest for a Toilet Seat.

Until now.

Our story actually begins two weeks ago. Sophia’s mother, Fanya, noticed that the toilet seat in her bathroom was loose. She asked Vartan, her husband and Sophia’s step-father, to fix it. Vartan adjusted the plastic screw too tightly and the plastic holder that connects the seat to the toilet cracked in two. This made the entire toilet seat unstable because it slid off the rim.

Fanya and Vartan don’t drive, so they asked Sophia to buy them a new toilet seat. The instructions from Sophia’s mother were very specific:

1) Fanya only wanted a “soft” padded toilet seat.

2) She insisted that the toilet seat have metal screws and connectors, since metal makes the seat “sturdier” than the last seat, as well as giving the toilet a more sophisticated look.

Thus, the quest story would have began, if it didn’t get delayed by Sophia’s car accident and my mother arriving in Los Angeles for her holiday visit.

Days passed. Sophia began feeling better. With my mother in town, we decided to visit Fanya and Vartan on Christmas Day, then all go out for Chinese food.

“Have you gotten the toilet seat yet?” asked Sophia’s mother after we told her of our plans to visit. They had been using a broken seat for two weeks. Sophia promised that we would bring them a new one by the next day.

Now, the adventure begins.

The goal: A new toilet seat.

Obstacle One: It must be padded.

Obstacle Two: It must have metal, not plastic, screws and connectors.

Obstacle Three (the biggie): It is now the afternoon of December 24th — the day before Christmas!

Sophia, my mother, and I all headed for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but the parking lot was so crowded with holiday shoppers that we decided to drive a few more blocks to a less frantic Bed, Bath, and Beyond wannabe called Linens and Things. We fought our way into the store and past the long lines at every register. We searched and searched until we found the toilet seats in the “bath” section. Sadly, there was only one padded toilet seat, an ugly green model, and it only had plastic screws. So, off we went — back to Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Bed, Bath, and Beyond was a major disappointment. They also only had one soft seat, but it was sold out. The salesgirl said that “soft toilet seats” were out of fashion, and with her nose held high, recommended that we try Sears on the other side of the mall.

The mall was so jammed with annoying shoppers that it took us forever to walk from one side of the mall to the other. We even had to pass through the disgusting food court, filled with the rancid smell of “Cheesesteak ‘N Fries” and “Kong’s Mongolian BBQ.” Sears did not have ANY toilet seats at all, so we trudged back, so exhausted that we actually stopped for a heartburn-inducing snack at Kong’s Mongolian BBQ.

In case you actually care, the gimmick at Kong’s Mongolian BBQ is that you gather up your own meat and vegetables from some mini-buffet and then hand it into some “chef (more accurately, a Redondo Beach High School junior),” who grills it up for you. We quickly learned from these two girls in torn jeans standing in front of us that if you flatten the rolled up pieces of meat into your bowl, you can cheat the system and pile more food in before you hand it to the “chef.”

After being nourished by this fake Asian cuisine, we continued on our journey. We discussed buying it online, but Sophia was adamant about buying it today. Like Odyseuss, she would not give up. But the clock was ticking and some stores were closing early.

We drove to Target. The parking lot was a mess. Does everyone do their shopping at the very last minute? Our holiday spirit was getting so low that Sophia actually put up her middle finger to a Santa Claus who cut her off in his SUV.

Target was a bust. It ended up having NO padded toilet seats with metal screws. We went from store to store, all with the same result.

These stores had hard toilet seats with metal screws.

These stores had padded toilet seats with plastic screws.

But there were NO padded toilet seats WITH metal screws.

We drove to Kohl’s, mostly because none of us had actually ever been to a Kohl’s before. Just when we beginning to feel hopeful, our visit was quickly abandoned. Sophia saw some snotty actress she knew standing in front of the store, and Sophia, still with bruises around her eyes from the car accident, didn’t want the woman seeing her looking like this. So, off we went — back to the car.

“She’ll tell everyone that you beat me up.” Sophia told me.

“Yeah, like anyone would believe that.” I answered, trying to visualize a real fist-fight with Sophia where she doesn’t kick the shit out of me.

“Why don’t we try “The Home Store?” my mother asked, which Sophia and I understood to be my mother’s way of saying “The Home Depot.”

“They don’t have toilet seats.” I said with confidence. Later, I ate my words, because they DID have toilet seats.

Never underestimate the power of The Home Depot.

Imagine the look on our faces as entered The Home Depot and came face to face with the ONLY padded toilet seat with metal screws known to mankind.

The next day, we visited Fanya and Vartan. I gripped the padded toilet seat in my hands as if it was the most precious of cargos. As everyone chatted, I made a straight line for the bathroom and quickly installed the new toilet seat.

I stood there a moment and admired the seat. I have to admit — it was a really nice toilet seat — the “deluxe” model — soft, but sturdy. The screws and holder were shiny and silver, like something you would see in the bathroom of a fine hotel.

As in any “quest” story, the tale isn’t over until the hero wins the approval of the fair maiden.

“The toilet seat is ready,” I yelled triumphantly as I exited the bathroom.

Sophia translated this statement to her mother. Fanya looked at me with a distrustful expression, as if to say that SHE will be the one who decides if the toilet seat is ready.

Fanya grazed my shoulder, pushed her way into the bathroom, and closed the door behind her. We all turned to the the door, waiting. There was a silence, reminiscent of those old coffee commercials where the villagers waited for Juan Valdez to give his approval to the Columbian coffee.

The door opened. Fanya was smiling.

“Very nice,” she said in Russian.

We sighed. We went to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas.

To Sleep, Perchance to Blog

sleep2.jpg 

Nothing bugs me more than blogging “experts” pontificating on what a blog should or shouldn’t be about.  Sure, it might help them write a book on blogging or speak at a conference, but what does anyone know more than YOU about your own personal stuff?

In October, I complained about a blogging book with the title “No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog.”  As a member of the LBADL (Lunch Bloggers Anti-Defamation League), I immediately wrote a post describing what I had for lunch.

Yesterday, I  read a post saying that bloggers should spend more time on their posts, in the hope of creating well-written essays like David Sedaris and selling themselves to magazine editors.   First of all, there already is a David Sedaris, so it seems hopeless to become another one.  Second of all, he is gay, and it is not worth becoming gay just to get published.  And honestly, the chances of your blog doing anything for your writing career are so slim, you might as well just have fun and experiment.

To prove my point, I’m attempted a live blogging experiment.  I went to sleep in the living room and put the alarm on for 3AM.  My goal was to ramble on about my dream, not giving a crap about whether it was interesting or not.

It is now 3AM.  The only problem is that the minute the alarm jarred me out of my gentle slumber, I immediately forgot what I was dreaming about.  This is pretty typical.  I never remember my dreams.  I’ve even tried keeping a pencil and pad by my bed, but by the time I reach for the pencil, the entire dream has disappeared like… well, like a dream.

Even though this blogging dream experiment was a complete failure, I’m glad I did it.  I could have wimped out.  I could have been afraid that some of you would say, “Oh my God, Neil’s post today was a complete mess that he wrote at 3AM.  I’m never reading this blog again!”

If anything, waking up at 3AM has inspired me to write a little bit about SLEEP itself.  

Did you ever notice that we love to write about food and sex, but hardly ever about sleep?   I don’t know about you, but sometimes, there is nothing better than a good night’s sleep.   Between Sophia and the whole car accident scare, and my mother in town, bugging me about getting a haircut, I’ve actually looked forward to just going to sleep the last couple of days.    

I did have a haircut today.  But not because of my mother.

“You look homeless,” my mother has told me over and over again for the last few days.   But I ignored her. 

Today I was in Ralph’s Supermarket, when a woman , around 30, started waving at me.  She was very attractive, but there was something odd about her.  Maybe it was all the chopsticks sticking in her hair.

“How are you?” she asked.

“Fine.”  I said meekly, unsure who she was.  She sensed that I was uncomfortable.

“I know you, right?”

“I don’t think so.  Maybe you mistake me for someone else.”

“Don’t you lecture at the Krishna Center?”

“I’m sorry.  You DO mistake me for someone else.”

I immediately left the supermarket and went for a haircut.

Jeez?  How did I get to talking about my haircut.  Wasn’t I just talking about SLEEP?  I think my mind is starting to play tricks on me, like those college students involved in sleep deprivation tests.

Boy, am I sleepy.  Why am I up at 3AM writing this stupid blog post?  To be honest, if I had the choice RIGHT NOW of being served a five course meal from the finest restaurant in New York, of having Kate Winslet walking in naked, climbing on top of me, and f**king until morning, or just going back to sleep — I would choose SLEEP. 

Now tell me sleep is NOT a worthy subject to write about.

Neil’s Penis:  I strongly disagree with the last statement of Neilochka’s ridiculous post, especially the Kate Winslet part.  I will now punish him by making it hard for him to go back to sleep.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month:  The Argument

Five Things You Don’t Know About Me

five.jpg 

What do you do if you are asked to do a meme from a blogger you don’t really know very well?   Normally, I have no problem blowing off one of you if you ask me to do a meme.  But it is rude to do that to a stranger.  I mean, if I invited you over for dinner, I could serve you some burgers, but if some newcomer stopped over unexpectedly, I would feel obligated to use the fine china.

So, here are five things you don’t know about me.  My mother is in town and I’m busy entertaining her, so I am giving very few details to you in this meme, which I sort of like, because it keeps me more mysterious, like the Phantom of the Opera, and I know secretive men with “dark secrets” are a big turn on for women.

Thank you, Tim, for tagging me. (I think)

1)  After college, I applied to become a Reform Rabbi, but my heart wasn’t in it since I wasn’t even sure God existed, so I went to film school in Los Angeles instead, which is a little bit like going from heaven to hell.

2)  I have been asked by three women to marry them so they can get green cards.   (not Sophia!)

3)  My favorite meal is scrambled eggs and toast.

4)  I have surprising good graphic art/computer skills for someone who can’t draw a straight line.

5)  I once roomed with the runner up of the Miss Virginia competition.

I become anxious having to pick five people to do this meme, which is clearly something I need to work on when I finally go into therapy, but here it goes:  Margaret, Dating Dummy, Emma, Serena, Jennie.

Visions of Sugar Plums Dance in My Head

xmas14.jpg
(shiksa blogger on Christmas morning) 

Merry Christmas!   Peace and love to everyone who celebrates on this special day.   Did Santa bring you the gifts you were hoping for?

If you want me today, you can find me with the other Jews at your local Chinese restaurant, playing Mah Jongg with the restaurant staff.

Thank you Melissa, Momentary Academic, and others, for your holiday cards.  And special thanks to V-Grrrl for sending me this amazing gift from Belgium!   I can’t think of a better gift!

mannekin1.jpg 
(photo by Sophia)

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” to me more than a little boy holding his little penis, just like the one in Brussels!  I’ll put my little “Manneken Pis” on my mantle, right next to my Hoagie Blog President Award and my imaginary Oscar.

Message from Time Magazine

time2.jpg

This week, we chose YOU as the Person of the Year because:

 “In 2006, the World Wide Web became a tool for bringing together the small contributions of millions of people and making them matter.”

Three days later, the editors here at Time Magazine have decided that the Year of “You” has officially ended, due to an online blogger holiday concert that started out as a day for holiday cheer, but quickly denigrated into a night of chaos, violence, and protest.

concert2.jpg

Events at the concert unfurled quickly as two female bloggers sang similar versions of “Santa Baby.”  Fists started flying after Pam of Nerd’s Eye View called Erin of Villanovababy a “Britney wannabe who should stick to her stupid blog.”  Erin of Villanovababy simply said, “Pam is a blogging bitch who can stick her ukulele up her ***.”

Several bloggers were asked to leave the Hyatt Hotel on LA’s Sunset Strip after trashing the “Presidential Suite” in an after-concert bash. 

“I’ve never seen such sick depravity in all my years as hotel manager.  It was like a wild drunken orgy, except they used their laptops!” said Richard Ortiz, a 25-year veteran in the business.

Many bloggers were disappointed in the management of the concert.  Outcries of nepotism were heard because bloggers were only allowed to perform one song each, but Sophia Lansky of Redondo Beach, was allowed TWO songs.  An anonymous caller, a disgruntled blogger who goes by the alias of “Brooke,” said that Ms. Lansky isn’t even a blogger.  Further research revealed that the Ms. Lansky is the separated wife of the concert organizer, Neil “Neilochka” Kramer.  Requests for an interview were refused.

Disruptions to the concert are expected to continue this evening as Al Sharpton prepares to lead a large protest march against the Holiday concert. 

“Despite being called a Christmahanukwanzaakah Concert, not ONE song for Kwanzaa was included in the festivities.” said Mr. Sharpton. “It is not surprising that this concert was organized by someone named “Kramer.””

Time Magazine deeply regrets picking ordinary people to be Time Person of the Year. 

“If this is what happens when bloggers get together, forget this s**t about YOU.” said a senior editor.  “We should have just picked Tiger Woods!”

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthBlogging the Big Event

The 2006 Blogger Christmahanukwanzaakah Online Holiday Concert

xmas22.jpg
poster girl Jamelah

THE CONCERT PROGRAM

Ellen performing Jingle Bell Rock

Digital Father performing O Holy Night

Psychotoddler performing Sevivon

Becky performing God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Elisabeth and Claire performing il est ne le divin enfant

Sheana and Colleen performing The Dreidel Song

Fitena performing Silent Night

Mr. Fabulous performing Blue Christmas

Villanovababy performing Santa Baby

Sophia performing Hanukkah, Oh Hannukah

Heather B performing O Come All Ye Faithful

Tiff performing The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)

INTERMISSION

Nelumbo performing Up on the House Top

Non-Highlighted Heather performing Silent Night

Sophia, post-accident, performing Ocho Kandelikas in Ladino

Qatherinn performing A Christmas Song

Neil performing How to Make Latkes!

Stuntmother‘s son, Daniel performing Jingle Bells.

Danny performing Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

Caryn performing The Chipmunks Christmas Song

Paintergirl performing Rock and Roll Round the Christmas Tree

F.D. (from Therapy Doc) performing Dovid Melech (more here)

Pam performing Santa Baby

Chana‘s daughter performing Ocho Candelikas

Doris and Edda performing We Wish You a Merry Christmas

leesa.jpg
photo by Leesa

jenny.jpg
photo by Jenny

chantel.jpg
photo by Chantel

jody.jpg
photo by Two Roads

michelle.jpg
photo by Michelle

3T.jpg
photo by 3T

pearl.jpg
photo by Pearl

orieyenta.jpg
photo by Orieyenta

nics.jpg
photo by Nics

leahpeah.jpg
photo by LeahPeah

smitten.jpg
photo by Smitten

pamcookies.jpg
photo by Pam

sarah2.jpg
photo by Sarah

claire.jpg
photo by Claire

edgy.jpg
photo by Edgy Mama

tamarika.jpg
photo by Tamarika

leezer.jpg
photo by Leezer

vgrrl.jpg
photo by V-Grrrl

chloe.jpg
photo by Chloe

sarah.jpg
photo by Neil and colorized by Sarah

Lucky Hannukah

I apologize for not seeing some people I hoped to meet while in New York (Lisa B, Cynical Girl). I came home several days earlier than planned. On Thursday night, I got a call from Sophia that she was in a hospital emergency room. A motorcycle had sideswiped her car while she was on the freeway. Sophia hit her head on the side of the door and got injured. It was nerve-wracking as I flew in because it wasn’t clear to me how bad it was or wasn’t.  She was admitted to Cedars Sinai because she had a concussion and the initial tests showed that she may even have had a stroke, but luckily, further testing didn’t show anything so serious, and after 2 days she was released from the hospital. Sophia is healing now. She’ll need some physical therapy for her neck but she will be OK. Her head and eyes are all black and blue, and she wore her mother’s huge sunglasses when we went outside. I told her not to worry, since hardly anyone would look at her bruises. In LA, it just looks like she had “some work done,” which is as common in town as seeing someone with a new haircut.

I’m glad that she is doing better. We had our first argument today — a sign that things are getting back to normal.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: Sophia and Neil’s First Date

A Russian Hannukah

hannukah31.jpg

The last reminder:  The online Holiday concert is Wednesday (see sidebar).  Get me your songs, links, or photos by Tuesday night, or Wednesday morning the latest.   Some of the stuff I have received is amazingly good, but you don’t have to be a professional (or even that talented) to participate.  One blogger is even thinking of recording a song on her cell phone and sending the attachment to me.  Now that is the holiday spirit!

Mistletoe 101 for Jews

mistletoe2.jpg 

Happy Hannukah!   Thanks for the emails wishing me a happy holiday.   As  a Jew, I like Hanukkah, but at the same time I realize that it is a fairly minor holiday blown out of proportion to compete with Christmas.   Jews have been treated like shit in so many countries  throughout their history, that we are truly lucky to live in a country where the populace actually acknowledges our little holiday.

I’m pretty confident in my Jewishness that I don’t feel threatened by a Christmas season that seems to start the minute you eat your last bite of stuffing at Thanksgiving.  I can enjoy the carols and the festivities without feeling the need to convert or praise Jesus.   I know some Jews have “Christmas” trees in their houses, but I wouldn’t go that far, just because that seems a bit too much of “wanting to be part of the crowd,” like wearing a Von Dutch cap because you saw Justin Timberlake wearing one on Entertainment Tonight.  The Pope may wear what looks like a yarmulke, but I doubt he is at home lighting his menorah.

Just like Jews worry about the influence of Christmas on their kids, some Christians worry that they can’t celebrate their holiday as openly as they would like to.   I’m still reading bloggers grumbling about the use of “Seasons Greetings” rather than “Merry Christmas.”  Frankly, this issue is so 2005.

I’m all for Christians enjoying their religious holiday.  It doesn’t bother me if someone says “Merry Christmas.”  It DOES bother me that most of the complainers about the “War on Christmas” come from conservative commentators such as Bill O’Reilly and John Gibson.  Their interest in Christmas has more to do with politics than religion.  It is all part of a family values agenda.  Pushing for the public display of Christmas goes hand-in-hand with conservative ideology against the rights of other minorities, such as gays and women.  Whenever I read a 20-something talking how much he hates being politically-correct over Merry Christmas, I know this person is going to end up being a suburban “family values” person who watches FOX news every night.

Janet at The Art of Getting By wrote an amusing piece about how much it must “suck to be Jewish during Christmas.”  Personally, I don’t like eggnog, so I am jealous of the mistletoe.  Like being part of the “mile-high club,” kissing under the mistletoe is one of my unfulfilled fantasies.  Just in case I find myself at a Christmas Party this year, what exactly are the “rules.”  Can you kiss anyone standing under the mistletoe?  Do you HAVE to kiss the person?  What happens if she has a cold sore?  Can you bring someone under the mistletoe under false pretenses, just to kiss her —

Neil:  “Come here, Anne, I want to show you this new coffee maker in the kitchen.  Tricked you!  We’re under the mistletoe!  Give me your tongue!”

Washington Irving, famed early 19th Century writer, helped popularize the mistletoe tradition to Americans in “Christmas Eve” —

Here were kept up the old games of hoodman blind, shoe the wild mare, hot cockles, steal the white loaf, bob apple, and snap dragon; the Yule-clog and Christmas candle were regularly burnt, and the mistletoe with its white berries hung up, to the imminent peril of all the pretty housemaids.

The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.

Hot cockles!  Kissing the Girls!  Plucking Berries from the Bush!

Now you know why Jews are really jealous about Christmas.  Kissing under the mistletoe.  If you try kissing someone over the menorah, you just get your hair on fire.

THE HOLIDAY CONCERT IS THIS WEDNESDAY!

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthLL Cool Jew (more Jews!)

Older posts
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial