Words & Banter

And Jewish Christmas Carols?

CREDIT: Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The craziness leading up to Christmas is what Red refers to as the “silly season” (which you’d think ends on New Year’s Day, yet it seems to continue into early January), but Black sees it as an opportunity to connect the dots between Christmas carols, Jewish songwriters, Chinese food, the Supreme Court, and the movie “Die Hard.” Making it seem so logical in this month’s column, “RED & BLACK … And Jewish Christmas Carols?

And as we celebrate Christmas (we celebrate Chanukah, but also celebrate Christmas, with one of Red’s favorite stories being when Black met a Jewish Santa), we all have our own traditions – some new, some old. Last year, Red watched one of her favorite movies, “Die Hard,” on Christmas Eve (believe it or not, many people consider it a Christmas movie), and she now plans to watch it every year. And, like many Jews, including Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, we’ll celebrate with Chinese food on Christmas Day.

But no matter how you may celebrate Christmas, we believe the sentimental and classic poem “The Night Before Christmas” says it best,

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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