Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Christmas Specials and Jewish Children

posted by Nell Minow

December is a long month for Jewish parents. From the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve, America is completely saturated with Christmas and it can be very difficult to explain to small children why Santa seems to come to every house but theirs. Slate’s Dahlia Lithwick has a thoughtful essay on the fine distinctions drawn by some Jewish parents when it comes to cultural touchstones like “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The semiotic lines parents draw between “The Grinch” (universally allowed) and “The Night Before Christmas” (not so much) are as much a reflection of the complex balance between making sure children do not feel like outcasts and preserving their cultural and religious identity as it is a reflection on the differences in the programs. Lithwick finds that the controlling principle seems to come down in favor of the programs watched by the parents when they were children, back when their own parents were faced with the same difficult choices.



  • Mother of 4 Girls

    I had to laugh when a Jewish friend told me that they celebrate Christmas. Celebrate = putting up a tree and buy presents. I would say that is a pagan ritual. Christians can ‘celebrate Christmas’ but, it’s really not celebrating anything but materialism if you celebrate it that way.
    I don’t know much about how to ‘celebrate Hannukah’ but I would not dare think of insulting the meaning of it by putting a menorah in my window and just buying gifts to put around it. Although my kids would probably like to get gifts for more than just one day.
    I was actually hoping that the economy would force people to stop and think about what they are celebrating. The many different ways God saves us… or how they can save a buck on an idol or two.
    Be grateful that there are not dozens of movies every year that portray your religious celebration as an invitation to stampede at Walmart.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks very much for your thoughtful comment. I agree with you that it is sad and disrespectful to see meaningful spiritual observance turned into a glut of buying opportunities and I really appreciate your respect for your own traditions and those of others.

Previous Posts

The Wrecking Crew
Maybe you like Frank Sinatra and your friend likes the Mamas and Papas. Maybe you've argued about who is better, the Beach Boys or Simon and Garfunkel, or maybe you prefer Elvis. Each of those monumen

posted 9:48:37pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Home
"Home" is a cute and colorful movie about an alien invasion with an important safety tip concerning one of the most destructive forces in the universe, something devastating to every known life form.

posted 5:59:44pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Ebertfest 2015
Passes are on sale for Ebertfest 2015!  I'll be there!  From Chaz Ebert's blog: We are opening with Jean-Luc Godard's silent opus in 3D, "Adieu Au Langage" ("Goodbye To Language"). Some have complained that you were against 3D films, but we know that you were against 3D when it was used onl

posted 3:49:39pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Apps for Movie Fans
Geek Dad has a great list of apps for movie lovers, including MoviePass, which gives you unlimited movie tickets for one set fee.  I'd add Flixter from Rotten Tomatoes and of course my favorite, IMDB.

posted 12:15:35pm Mar. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Pretty Woman -- 25 Years Later
The cast and director of "Pretty Woman" reunited on the Today Show to reminisce about the movie that, improbably, made us root for a predatory finance guy and a prostitute to live happily ever after. They d

posted 1:33:04pm Mar. 25, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.