Thanksgiving is a pretty great day. You know why? It's a total equal opportunity holiday. Everyone gets to have fun.
Do you like food? Great! You're invited. Do you have a family or simply know someone who does? Phenomenal! You're in. Do you have no rational explanation as to why you celebrate it for the most part? Just know that it's something about Native Americans/We probably stole land but we don't talk about that/Silly people we call Pilgrims/Ships whose name's you were quizzed on in school, in which instance you did not in any way remember all of the names? BAM. Go eat and drink until you've gained 10lbs and can't feel feelings.
The point though...is that it's great. If you live in America, anyone can get down with this shit. And then there's the next day.
The day I'm reminded that Hanukkah is the redheaded stepchild of the holiday season.
Turn on the TV on Friday, November 26th. Any year. You know what you probably see? Commercials involving an awesome fat man named Santa Claus who lives in the NORTH FUCKING POLE, has MIDGETS WITH SILLY EARS THAT LIVE WITH HIM, and FLYING ANIMALS. You know why? Because Christians were geniuses: They took what could have been a boring religious ritual and turned it into f%*king Mardi Gras.
The whole "celebrate the birth of Christ" thing was, to put it in a completely offensive way, not that fun. Slow down, angry Christians, I'll get to my point (no I won't). What were kids really gonna get psyched about here, though? They go to birthday parties already. And they are fantastic, as I'm pretty sure your entire childhood is a series of events that led up to eating candy and going to birthday parties. But I mean, unless Jesus is renting out the Laser Tag center, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go to that birthday party at church. Feels like a bit of a "Hey kids, wanna get ice cream?" moment where you find out you also have to go to Home Depot first.
You know what kids would get excited for?
A huge fat man who lives in a mythical land in which he has flying deer and has an unlimited amount of WHATEVER YOU WANT, EVER. Can we go over Santa's laundry list of awesome?
- He employs midgets. (kids love midgets, and eventually grow into adults who love midgets, which is a fact that cannot be disputed)
- He has shape shifting abilities and can fit into chimneys, which it turns out is impossible. (re: he's a superhero, which it turns out kids are also moderate fans of)
- He owns animals that can fly. Animals. That can fly.
- The only food he appears to eat are rations of cookies and milk. Which, I'm pretty sure would make anyone else die. So, here's me a little intrigued as a child again.
- If you ask for something, he has it. Always. He's like Amazon.com before there was Amazon.com. But shipping was free, even if you didn't have prime (nerd joke).
I could probably go on for hours. The point is: the very idea of Santa Claus, in this odd way, makes everyone want to celebrate what is a VERY religious day. Do you know why I say this? Because my family is Jewish, and we legitimately look forward to it way more than Hanukkah. I mean, how's THAT for some spin? Golf claps, Christianity.
I love being Jewish, don't get me wrong. But Hanukkah is kind of like owning a minivan when everyone drives by in their Christmas porsche. It's mascot is a highly religious symbol, which isn't really getting Timmy the 8 year old amped up. It gets the end of an aisle at Target for decorations. On the holiday psyche-yourself-up scale, it's a bottle of ambien. And that's too bad. Because the idea behind it is just as fantastic as the one behind Christmas. Both are entirely serious holidays, it just seems like Christians hired Don Draper and Jews hired someone's kindergarten class to make promotional materials.
And that's a bummer. Because I'm pretty sure Jews, if given the opportunity, would totally rally behind a mascot. I mean, did you see how excited we got about Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm?
So here's my proposal:
Harry the Hanukkah Groundhog.
- He will be chubby. People enjoyed this aspect of Caddyshack, so I say we start here for general "look".
- He will pop up and leave things like candy and presents for kids in their backyard. Oh, don't think that will work? Why don't you check out how that "rising of Christ"/Easter holiday mascot is doing. Turns out kids rally behind make believe animals that leave silly behind things for them.
- He will make a silly snickering noise and will employ a small group of other woodland/underground creatures. They will be hilarious. They will sing much like Alvin and the Chipmunks, who we will find out in a Holiday special were actually related to them!
- He will, for no apparent reason, wear a silly sweater vest. Because sweater vests are silly. And so is Harry the Hanukkah Groundhog.
Here's my point: I just think Hanukkah gets a bum rap. And I kinda blame my own people. We just didn't come to bat in terms of creatively marketing what is a pretty fantastic holiday. They made a fat man and a magical bunny, and we made a candlestick and pancakes made out of potatoes.
So here's to hoping that when I have children, they can know the fat man AND the fat groundhog. By that time, Harry will surely be a hit.
Rocket Shoes Mixtape 35: An Ode To Harry The Hanukkah Groundhog
Stream the whole thing at those two links above.
As always, download the whole thing in cute little mp3's at the links below.