26 Comments

  1. Makes no sense to me – anyone who can afford all these lights can buy ’em and put ’em up. Heck, we’re Agnostic and probably have more decorations – even a Nativity set (albeit dogs play all the characters) – than many who are believers.

    Adding the cat and dog makes it even more nonsensical, to me, anyway.

  2. The tendency of some Jewish families to adopt faux-Christmas customs like having the Chanuka Bear leaving gifts under the Chanuka bush?

    I’ll leave “Why is this funny?” to somebody else.

  3. Right. It’s commentary on the secularization of Christmas; even the Jews put up Christmas lights.

    Having the dog say it confuses the issue because it might mean that the pets are Jewish, rather than the people.

    Alternatively, the pets are the ones who are Jewish, and the people aren’t. In which case the joke is, “Why are our servants putting up Christmas lights when we’re Jewish?”

  4. ‘Alternatively, the pets are the ones who are Jewish, and the people aren’t. In which case the joke is, “Why are our servants putting up Christmas lights when we’re Jewish?”’

    Now THAT makes more sense . . . altho it’s a real stretch to think that dogs & cats have a religion.

  5. I had the same explanation as KN et. al. I thought it was a decent joke.

    Andréa: If dogs and cats can talk, why can’t they have a religion?

    While Jews can celebrate Christmas, celebrating Christmas is significantly more culturally contrary to Judaism than it is to Agnosticism or Atheism.

  6. Many atheists celebrate the birth of an illustrious man who was born on the 25th of December: Isaac Newton. There are even songs for Newton’s Day.

  7. Any excuse for a party, say I. Even celebrating your ridiculous superstitions. Wait, whose ridiculous superstitions am I talking about? Why yours, of course. Now get me a drink and some crudites.

  8. I forgot to mention that you don’t have to be atheist to celebrate Newton’s Day, as long as you don’t actually worship him. I know a conservative Jew who hangs apples every December 25th.

  9. I’m just happy that the artist placed the pets in positions in which we do not need to discuss verifying whether they are really Jewish.

  10. Newton is a fine choice for poster guy in support of science. But not at all a good poster guy for avoiding religion. He was deeply involved in mysticism and denominational controversy.

  11. I once saw a children’s TV show in the 1980s where the characters were getting ready for Christmas, and then the main character explained that some families celebrate Chanukah instead. A few minutes later, you see the dinosaur family nearby (I said this was a children’s TV show) putting up Chanukah celebrations.

    Even back then, I appreciated that TV show included other faiths, but… dinosaurs? Dinosaurs celebrating Chanukah?

    Well, the TV show was fictional anyway, so there’s no point in overthinking it. And I think that’s the whole point of the dog and cat being Jewish in this cartoon. You don’t want anybody to feel left out, but nobody ever thinks about the dog and cat’s religions.

    At least the dinosaurs weren’t left out.

  12. I’d have thought this funnier (for certain values of ‘funny’) if the doghouse and cat scratching post/litter box were being decorated.

    We decorate our dogs – they’re wearing Howliday bandanas right now. But those are pretty ecumenical – Santas, holly, poinsettias. If any of them have a religion, s/he has never mentioned it to me, other than dog is god spelled backwards.

  13. Today the cartoon has a typical suburban family; 100 years ago, it would have a typical farm family; instead of a dog talking to a cat, it would have a pig, talking to a cow… Wait a minute…

  14. I was going to ask what would be good decos for Sir Isaac Day – apples would work nicely; I have lots of fake ones. Hmmm . . . maybe I should add an Isaac Tree to our collection . . .

  15. “Now THAT makes more sense . . . altho it’s a real stretch to think that dogs & cats have a religion.”

    Because ALL dogs go to Heaven?

    “Even back then, I appreciated that TV show included other faiths, but… dinosaurs? Dinosaurs celebrating Chanukah?”

    Even Johnny Hart knew that dinosaurs were Christians…

  16. When dogs [and cats? Who knows] say, ‘We’, I always assume they mean the entire family, of which they are members. So, to me, if the cat/dog are Jewish, ‘we’ means they all are.

  17. Although we are Jewish, my wife once had a cat who was clearly Catholic. She just had that specific sort of Catholic guilt instead of Jewish guilt. I can’t exactly explain it, but I can verify that it was true.

  18. Maybe the joke is that the dog is circumcised. Of course, you can’t show that in a newspaper, so we’re left to infer it.

    In other words, there’s no joke here.

  19. When I was growing up my parents explained to me that even though Chanukah and Christmas fall at the same time (more or less) they are not related and have nothing to do with each other and we do not celebrate Christmas. When I was young there were kits to decorate one’s windows for Christmas with some sort of wax sprayed on through stencils – I was allowed to do this, but only with the snowflake designs – no Christmas ones. Once my dad had a car we would drive around and look at the Christmas lights on houses – I asked my parents once if “they” get upset that we are looking at the lights and I was told that “they” do not.

    To complicate it further, I would get when I was very young (below 5) some Christmas gifts which were given to my dad for me from clients and one from,I learned many decades later from the foreman at the factory my grandfather owned. I had a reindeer painted on and cut out of styrofoam that we put on top of the TV cabinet ad these Santa gifts would appear in front of the TV for Christmas morning (when one does not have a chimney, Santa comes through the TV).

    When I was 5 Christmas changed forever – my sister’s birthday is Dec 23.

    Even bigger change was when I got married. It is amazing how much I overdecorate now.

  20. “Even bigger change was when I got married. It is amazing how much I overdecorate now.”

    It’s called ‘overcompensation’ . . . I have this issue, also.

  21. “When I was young there were kits to decorate one’s windows for Christmas with some sort of wax sprayed on through stencils”

    I remember these fondly – and the MESS to scrape it off the windows after the holidays! I have some pictures of the ones we did – I believe it was done with a sponge dipped in something, not sprayed on; that came later.

    Even though I was raised Agnostic/Atheist, we still had all the holiday decorations, including real candles on real trees (brought over from Holland – the candles & candleholderss, not the trees), AND a nativity set that my Dad-the-Atheist made the setting for, complete with music box and lighted star (this was late 50s, early 60s). It was a Fontanini creche, and he and I bought my Mother a figurine every year. Whilst my Mother and I went to a midnight service (for the atmosphere and the singing, not the belief), my father liked to watch the Pope on TV when we finally got one in the late 60s, early 70s.

    Talk about mixed messages during one’s formative years.

  22. Andrea – the decorating is most of our holiday as we buy few gifts (his two nieces – 9 and 16 – get Christmas gifts, my niece and nephew – 30 and 27 – get Chanukah checks) and he will buy books and/or DVDs most years (so far this year – the new James Bond book and the complete Fraiser series) for himself and that is generally all the gifts. We are limited for medical reasons in what we can eat. So, we decorate with stuff accumulated over 39 years. I do light my menorah every night (generally) of Chanukah and I put out some Chanukah decorations mixed with the Christmas.

    The only other part to our Christmas is the Candlelight nights event we do with our reenactment unit at the local restoration village – this year for a split 6 nights – 3 the weekend before and 3 the weekend after Christmas (the nights and the number of them vary year to year). For an event that runs 5 pm to 9 pm – it take us from about 2:45/3:00 to 11 pm to deal with it. (Changing into period clothes/ then changing back afterwards, time to drive each way, and time to set up and close down the house.) It is exhausting, but the two of us love it and other members and the public seem to also – we have repeat visitors (including descendants of the family who built/owned the house who have told us that they only come to the event for “our” house.

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s