Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Guest Post by Josh Berk *And a contest*

Hey Everyone, Zoe asked me to do a guest post on her blog a little while ago and I had the fancy idea that it could be a holiday post! This way Zoe and I can wish you dear readers a Happy Hannukah (or whatever that other holiday is some of you celebrate). And also this way we can give away this weird "Josh Berk Cool Jew" holiday ornament I have lying around the house. Read on for my ramblings and for the low-down on the contest. Happy Holidays
Being a Jew is pretty great. We have lots of good writers, comedians, and, yes, let's face it: we control the media and international finance. (Kidding! Sort of.) But alas, being a Jewish kid on Christmas is about much fun as, well, being a Jewish kid on Christmas. Our parents do their best, what with trips to the movies and take-out Chinese food. And yeah, yeah Hanukkah is pretty cool -- who wouldn't enjoy the eight nights of presents? Also cool is the fact that dreidel and menorah pretty much are parent-sanctioned gambling and playing with fire.

But alas, it all comes up a bit short, especially when you're a kid. You feel awkward every time someone says "Merry Christmas." You feel like you must somehow be naughty because Santa skips your house. And perhaps worst of all: You are forced to go to Christmas parties and take part in nativity plays at school. Sure, it beats going to class, and yes, there's one Hannukah
song everyone sings off-key, but that only makes it worse somehow.
I have a particular fantastic memory of being in fourth grade or so and dressing up as an elf in a public school Christmas production. This involved wearing tights and a stupid hat. I love stupid hats as anyone can attest, but tights?! It was pretty embarrassing. No, I don't have a picture. Worse was that I had to sing "Silent Night." Some of the other songs, like "Jingle Bells" or "Frosty" could be passed off as "seasonal," but I was pretty sure "Silent Night" was all about Jesus (possibly it was that part where you say "Christ the Savior, is born" over and over again)... Also the line "round yon virgin" is pretty weird. I always imagined it was about a round virgin named Yon. Why are we singing about him? He can't help being a virgin. He didn't want to be named "Yon." Leave Yon alone.

Anyway, this is my favorite awkward Jew-on-Christmas memory, being dressed as an elf and belting out a song about Jesus. But to enter this contest you don't have to be a Jew! That's right: this is a contest! And I mean, a Jew will probably win, because we are the chosen people (and also that whole international conspiracy thing), but anyone can take a crack at it. Just share an embarrassing or horrid holiday experience from your childhood! We all have those, right? Right.

I'm sure no matter who you are you have a fun story about "accidentally" telling your aunt her gift sucked, or maybe your parents forgot to buy you a gift one year so your stocking was filled with stuff from the garage like a bunch of hammers and maybe a roll of half-used duct tape.

Winner will receive a "cool jew" Josh Berk holiday ornament for your tree. And everyone has an equal chance to win. Honest. We're going to use a random number generator to pick the prize, and really, even the Jews need a Berk-face "non-denominational holiday ornament," don't they? Happy Hanukkah! Merry Christmas!

(To win you must be 13 years or older. Open world-wide! Berk will mail the prize and he hates the post office so be patient. You've been warned.)

Contest will end Sunday December 20, 2009.
Open to US residents.


nikniknik said...

lol, my worst holiday experiance? well, that was when we had a christmas eve party the night before, and my family had three cartons of egg-nog and no one else wanted it (i don't know why, that stuff rocks!) so i go to drink more than half of all of it. so the next morning, i felt kind of ill and as i was opening my third or fourth gift (which happened to be a woody doll from toy story) i threw up allll over it. and man, that doll was pretty cool. such a waste :(


Daisy Whitney said...

I'm married to a cool Jew so I'll sit out the contest, but will say I love the holiday tales!

Cheryl Renee Herbsman said...

Hilarious post! I could totally relate!

Jame said...

Ok I was just thinking how deeply WRONG it is that us Gentiles start wishing Happy Hannukah right before Christmas with no regard for the actual dates of Hannukah. SO wrong!

I would like to win the Berk-Face Cool Jew ornament with this offering: in 3rd grade I was Mrs. Clause in the Christmas Play when what I really wanted to be was the aforementioned Round Yon Virgin. And of course the teacher picked the most corpulent boy to be Santa, and of course she insisted that I hold his hand when I said my lines, and of course his hands were soft and sweaty as only those of a heavy boy in an over-heated classroom wearing a red flannel Santa suit would be. Oh, and I had to wear somebody's hand-me-down red old-lady nightgown as my costume. Double yuck!

Anonymous said...

I am part Jew, part Shiksa. Go figure.

Anyway, I was about 7 when I went to blow out the Chanukah candles during the family festivities. I earned the Death Look from my grandfather, who probably thought my desire to snuff the candles was because my father wasn't Jewish. The fear of God flew through me and my latkes came up. Oh, to be a child again!

Don't even get me started on the Christmas side of things!

Now, where's my ornament? If you truly cared, you would send it right now.

- Julie

Andrea Cremer said...

Uber Shiksa here

My worst holiday experience was when a crocodile hid behind our Christmas tree. When I reachedfor a present it snapped at my fingers, causing me to scream and knock over the tree. Several bulbs exploded and set our house on fire, burning it to the ground. Afterward my mother told me that my clumsiness made Santa Clause cry. I was so traumatized that I tragically no longer can stand the smell of pine. (P.S. Hi Josh)

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