Take a seat, Christmas: Christmas Steals Holiday Special Spotlight

“I like to listen to 104.1 this time of year. Not because I like Christmas music,” junior Ben Nadler said. “But because I love irony.” Ben, like many students of Ames High School, does not celebrate Christmas. He chooses not to celebrate Christmas because he is a Jewish-American. “If we [Jewish-Americans] control the media, you would think that we could put some more Hanukkah specials on T.V.” Nadler said. “I just get sick of seeing Charlie Brown and C-list actors like Steve Gutenberg in movies.” The lack of Hanukkah or any non-Christmas religious special is cause for concern. The most recent mainstream non-Christmas holiday special, or NCHS for short, was The Rugrats’ specials “A Rugrats’ Hanukkah,” “A Rugrats’ Passover,” and “A Rugrats’ Kwanzaa”. The show Rugrats and its producers won the Outstanding Achievement award as part of the 2001 Jewish Image Awards. However, it has been over ten years since the Rugrats’ Hanukkah Special first aired and there have been few attempts of other shows to step in and make another special. “Jews [Jewish-Americans] just need a holiday special to call our own.” Nadler said. “The Rugrats gave a shout out to the Jews, but who is going to trust little kids telling stories about virtue and religion?” “The Charlie Brown Christmas specials really speak out to my Anglo-American roots.” junior Daniel Lanning said. “Whenever my mom sees them on we gather around the television set and bond over a Charles Schultz classic.” The wisdom of little kids in holiday specials is documented throughout the history of television, with shows on television as early as the television itself. The height of Christmas specials occurred during the early 90’s when classic cartoon shows such as the Angry Beavers and Ren and Stimpy produced shows for audiences of all ages. “At least I could watch those shows, because the Angry Beavers were hilarious.” Nadler said. “The quality of Christmas shows really depends on its ability to appeal to more people than just the standard Christian audience. I bet Jews [Jewish-Americans] could make a show about Hanukkah that entertains and informs, something that Charlie Brown could never do.” Hanukkah is not the only underrepresented Holiday in the media today. Shows regarding Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Labor Day, Flag Day and El Dia De Los Muertos are all holidays without recognition. “It just gets a little annoying when all I see on T.V. are shows directed at Christian audiences. There are just so many good opportunities for a good special about the Festival of Lights, or any other holiday for that matter.” Nadler said. “I, like many other Americans, am in the minority and until I get the same representation on a holiday special as my fellow citizens, I just can’t help but feel discriminated against.”