I`m a pushover for Christmas. The
older I get, the more I realize I like everything about
Christmas. I like the exalted sacred side of Christmas,
and the sentimental, secular aspect as well. I like the
annual satirizing of the crass commercialization of
as in "A Charlie Brown Christmas,"
and, truth be told, I like the crass commercialization,
Not surprisingly, the annual War
Against Christmas strikes me as particularly
perverse. Who would be so Grinch-like as to not find
something enjoyable about Christmas?
The movement to turn Christmas into
That Which Must Not Be Named is usually attributed
to America`s "increasing multicultural diversity."
But a loathing of Christmas is hardly widespread among
blacks and Hispanics. A recent poll cited in Tom
VDARE.com article last week found that
96 percent of Americans celebrate Christmas.
In a department store in Beverly
Hills last week, I engaged in what has become my
seasonal subversion strategy. When a
African-American clerk would dutifully wish me a
store management-required "Happy Holidays," I`d
reply "And Merry Christmas!" and watch their
faces light up.
Almost no African-Americans despise
Christmas, despite all the institutional momentum behind
Kwanzaa, a holiday whose invention by
black radical and murderer Ron Karenga was
J. Edgar Hoover to divert support from the
that fat old bearded dude
living in the past, he
knows who`s been bad or good,
know who`s been nasty!"
In contrast, there`s the
overwhelming richness of the Christmas songbook, both
carols and pop songs.
Pop songwise, most of the 20th
century Christmas hits we hear this time of year were
written between 1934 and 1958. They keep alive the
higher standards of songwriting that prevailed before
rock music made youth, self-expression, and authenticity
more important than craftsmanship.
Tin Pan Alley was the commercial heir to the great
Continental musical tradition, with its incomparable
mastery of technique.
(Rock and roll,
in contrast, began as the rebellion of the
indigenous wild men of the southern Mississippi River
Valley, such as
Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and
Jerry Lee Lewis, with their Anglo-Celtic-African
musical traditions, against the professionalism of the
New York City songwriting industry.)
And, strange as it may seem during
today`s War Against Christmas, a very large fraction of
best Christmas songs were written by Jews.
For example, looking at a fairly
ASCAP list of the most played Christmas pop tunes,
it appears to me that of the top ten songs, Jews wrote
five and co-wrote two more. Out of the top 25 songs,
Jews were involved with at least 11 and possibly more.
Here was the top ten:
White Christmas—Irving Berlin (Jewish)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town—J. Fred Coots
(Jewish) and Haven Gillespie
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)—Mel
Torme (Jewish) and Robert Wells (Jewish)
Winter Wonderland—Felix Bernard and Richard B.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas—Ralph
Blaine and Hugh Martin
Songwriters, and their bank
accounts, appreciated having their efforts associated
with the most popular day of the year. There`s no market
for songs about snow in January!
lucrative royalties can be earned from a popular
Christmas song—for example, one-hit-wonder Elmo
Shropshire, a retired veterinarian, still makes
$80k annually from having written half of the
novelty tune "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"
in 1979. You might think that would encourage
contemporary tunesmiths to come up with new Christmas
are a lot of things our culture can`t seem to accomplish
anymore, no matter how much money is available. So it`s
hard to tell whether Jews are still willing to write
Christmas songs since nobody at all is writing Christmas
songs that catch on anymore.
our culture can still make some halfway decent Christmas
movies—for instance, 2003`s "Elf,"
with Will Ferrell as the North Pole`s most overgrown
worker. While hardly comparing to
"It`s a Wonderful Life" (but then what
does?), "Elf" is still a modest delight.
The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
"Both are written and directed by persons of the
Jewish faith. "Elf" is directed (Jon Favreau), written
by (David Berenbaum) and has stars (James Caan, Edward
Asner) who are Jewish—a feat that parallels the success
of the 1954 "White
Christmas" (Michael Curtiz, Norm Krasna and
Danny Kaye, respectively)."
the way, is Italian on his father`s side and Jewish on
his mother`s side, and
says he "keeps a Jewish home."
"Santa Clause 2" was a funnier film than you would
expect and made a deserved pile of money because it
featured G-rated jokes that adults enjoyed. Its
Michael Lembeck, is Jewish, as would appear to be
some of its many
On the other
hand, Robert Zemeckis, director of last year`s
slow-motion Christmas hit "The
Polar Express," is, to the surprise of many,
of Polish Catholic background. And the big three behind
the Grinch Stole Christmas," Dr.
Seuss, Ron Howard, and Jim Carrey were not Jewish.
It will be
interesting to see if Jews continue to make Christmas
Going back to the 19th Century,
German-Jewish department store owners played a
significant role in promoting several modern Christmas
traditions in America. Some of our more prominent
customs, such as the Christmas tree, came from Germany (Franklin
Pierce in the 1850s was the first President to have
a Christmas tree), and Jews were
important purveyors of
German culture in America.
But this long, amiable tradition of
Jews helping to enliven a Christian feast day seems,
sadly, to be drawing to an end. American Jews, those
exemplars of successful assimilation now seem to be
de-assimilating emotionally, becoming increasingly
resentful, at this late date, of their fellow
Americans for celebrating Christmas.
Veteran TV writer Burt Prelutsky
wrote a column last week entitled
"The Jewish Grinch who Stole Christmas:"
never thought I`d live to see the day that Christmas
would become a dirty word… And I blame my fellow Jews.
When it comes to pushing the multicultural,
anti-Christian agenda, you find Jewish judges,
Jewish journalists, and the
American Civil Liberties Union, at the forefront.
Jewish, I should report, Christmas was never celebrated
by my family. But what was there not to like about the
holiday? To begin with, it provided a welcome two-week
break from school. The decorated trees were nice, the
lights were beautiful, "It`s
a Wonderful Life" was a great movie, and
some of the best Christmas songs were even written by
There`s nothing uniquely Jewish
about ethnic groups de-assimilating. Human beings
compete for status, and the most natural way to organize
groups in this struggle is along lines of family
Nor should it be unexpected that as
groups feel increasingly secure, they come to resent
slights to their ancestors more than their ancestors
resented slights to themselves. That Irving Berlin could
make millions off "White Christmas" seemed
to Jews in 1942 like a wonderful tribute to America when
contrasted with what was happening to Jews elsewhere. To
an increasing number of Jews in 2005, however, that
Berlin had to write a song about Christmas to
have his biggest hit apparently illustrates the
unfairness and oppressiveness of American majority
African-Americans have similarly
been de-assimilating too, losing interest in facets of
American culture that they can`t dominate. For example,
in sports, blacks have
largely stopped playing baseball,
the national pastime, in order to concentrate more
on the sports where they have a larger competitive
football and, especially,
But these examples of
de-assimilation should give us pause about assuming
that newer immigrant groups will automatically
assimilate seamlessly. Hispanics, for example, may seem
to many whites today to be
perfectly content in servile jobs. But will future
generations of Latinos seem so accepting of their lot in
Seen in this perspective, the
decline of the American Christmas is intimately linked
to the decline of America. Fight both by entering
War Against Christmas Competition 2005!
[Steve Sailer [email him] is
founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and movie critic for
The American Conservative. His website www.iSteve.com features his daily blog.]