I’m making a list and checking it twice. Because I have more envelopes than ever to fill with money this Christmas. Because I wish only half the Senate a Happy Holiday! Because Fox News’ commentator, Republican Strategist Noelle Nikpour, said the Jews “have twelve days of presents” for Chanukah—and I only lit candles (as I always do) for eight nights!
Making a list, it never occurred to me to include the worst Christmas song… until I unavoidably heard, “Oh, by gosh, by golly/ It's time for Mistletoe and Holly.” It doesn’t get better. “Tasty pheasants… overeating… fancy ties an' granny's pies.” Time, by gosh, by golly, for Alka-Seltzer.
Fa-la-la. La-la. Irving Berlin knew better than to put an oy into White Christmas. Jerry Herman didn’t write, “We Need a Little Mazel.” So how did it take three Christians—including Frank Sinatra, of all God-fearing people—to express their delirious joy to the world for “carols and Kris Kringle” with gosh and golly.
Scholars can debate the origin or actual date of Christmas, but you haven’t seen Christmas in all its contradictions until you’ve seen Santa and his reindeer on a sun-drenched lawn in West L.A. Through a tinted windshield. Imagine if the manger had been on Sunset Boulevard. Or the three wise men had followed a floodlight emanating from a Hollywood premier!
Not to be outdone this season, California’s sun-struck Laguna Beach Jews mounted a Surfboard Menorah from donated surfboards. Where there’s an oy there’s a vey.
From the ridiculous to the sublime: I spent two Christmas Eve’s in Bethlehem. That’s one more than You-Know-Who. The first time was while I was traveling with Elizabeth Taylor, whom I and two others “ditched” for the evening, left behind in a hotel suite in Tel Aviv because she was being such a pain in the ass. If you’re gonna find out who’s naughty or nice, there’s no place like the Church of the Nativity for the holidays. And if you want to go spiritual and festive simultaneously, tingly and tender and roused, Manger Square on Christmas Eve is that memorable place.
On my second Christmas Eve in Bethlehem, I helped escort cast members of “Beverly Hills 90210.” We met with the little town of Bethlehem’s Arab mayor, who had no idea who the actors were. Then they prayed—I saw them.
So this year, all I want for Christmas is national health care. Oh, and a stocking-stuffer—a Christmas sock to stuff in Joe Lieberman’s mouth.