Forget Buzzfeed’s frustratingly mediocre “Jews decorate Christmas Trees for the first time” video. If it’s ecumenical seasonal jollies you want, you’d be hard pressed to find a better Judeo-Christian cultural bridge than Baltimore’s City Paper‘s review of local mall Santas… as experienced by a pair of Jewish grade-schoolers.
Writes City Paper:
[The authors] boys are 8 and 6 now, and they know who Santa is. Every year, we ask them not to tell their non-Jewish friends that Santa isn’t real, but we recently got a complaint from the parents of a traumatized kindergartener.
This year, City Paper thought we could put my kids’ general lack of experience with or interest in Santa to good use. They’ve never talked to a Mall Santa, so we visited four of them, and got the kids to review their interactions with the emotional distance only a Jewish kid could provide.
What follows is an adventure through a series of “Santa’s Villages” and plasticine “North Poles” wherein a series of St. Nicks are ranked based on their reaction to being told that the adorable gentile rugrats in their laps are, in fact, fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-fakes (we all love “gotcha Jew-nalism” right?). Along the way, the intrepid yiddo-kiddos are given a lecture on the merits of remote control model airplanes by an over-eager “elf” and even meet a maybe-sorta Jewish Mr. Claus.
The whole piece – including the accompanying photo gallery – is worth a look, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves to be thankful that, as Jews, we’re not culturally (religiously?) mandated to sit on a fat strangers lap… unless our parents work for the Baltimore City Paper.