On December 13 2022, a Twitter account going by @JewWhoHasItAll published a satirical “Dear Teacher” letter, describing Christmas and Christian traditions to putative school employees.
A Twitter bio for @JewWhoHasItAll provided context sufficient to understand the letter and its inspiration. According to that field, the account parodied American Christian “normativity” and “hegemony,” from the perspective of Jewish Americans:
Satirizing US ✝️ [Christian]-normativity & ✝️ [Christian] hegemony from a ✡️ [Jewish] POV. @JWhoKnowsItAll has explanations.
Within a day, the tweet was liked and shared by thousands of readers. It began:
The letter spanned 31 tweets in total. A version shared to Facebook, amassing over 2,000 shares. It began with a pitch-perfect tonal imitation of administrative communications from school, addressing matters such as “students in your classes” (without any modifier as to religion or culture) who “feel sorry for the Christian students” left out of Hanukkah.
After the text in the tweet above, it continued:
The date of Yom Christmas is set according to Pope Gregory’s calendar, so the holiday moves around on the normal calendar. This year, Yom Christmas falls on Rosh Chodesh Tevet. Although it will also be Chanukah, Christians do not observe Hanukkah. Christians light candles only if they have a five-candle Advent Menorah (pictured) with the fifth candle for Yom Christmas. This candle is lit without a bracha.
It is a common misconception to think of Yom Christmas as a “Christian Hanukah,” but the holidays are not related, even though Yom Christmas sometimes falls during Chanuka. Nor is it an observance of Rosh Chodesh.
The holiday lasts only one day, even outside Medinat Vatican.
Students in your classes may express that they feel sorry for the Christian students who have only one day of holiday, and no candles. You may explain to them that Christian students have their own holiday traditions, some even with candles of their own, and that in their way they enjoy their holiday just as much as we enjoy Chanukkah … Observance of Yom Christmas begins on Erev Christmas. This may seem like an obvious point to make, but since the Christian day typically starts in the middle of the night, the time holidays begin is not always obvious.
Overall, the piece was quite detailed and thorough, with subtle inversions of common micro-aggressions aimed at Jewish people in the United States and peppered with intentionally clumsy phrasing throughout. The excerpt above references the “normal calendar,” whereas the excerpt below further suggests Christian students “would probably love explaining” their practices to the rest of the class:
Most students love sharing their culture. Your Christian students would probably love explaining the significance of all of their colorful holiday minhagim to your class. Perhaps you could ask Christian students to explain the major mitzvot of Yom Christmas!
One passage solemnly informed letter recipients that “Yom Christmas commemorates the birth of the Christian prophet Yeshu,” whose “barnyard birth to an unwed mother is considered religiously significant for Christians.” It continued:
Out of politeness for their sincerely held beliefs, please refrain from asking Christian students to explain how the prophet’s unwed mother became pregnant.
In the iteration posted to Facebook, the page “Jew Who Has It All” linked to a December 5 2022 post introducing the concept of “Santa Claws.” It too was a “letter to teachers,” and it read in part:
According to the Christian holy #calendar Christians use to calculate dates, the yahrzeit falls on the 6th of “December”. This year, the day falls on Kislev 12. You may consult https://gregcal.com to find future dates of this observance and learn more about the fascinating Pope Gregory calendar used by Christians.
Although Christians may seem like a homogeneous and monolithic people, only a few Christian movements still believe in and revere “Saints,” more commonly known as Kedoshim. However, almost all Christians, including secular Christians and Protestanted Christians teach their children to believe in Saint Nikolas Ha’Kadosh, who lived in the early 4000’s, and is commonly known as “Santa Claws” … Instead of being written and sealed in the Book of Life, they hope to be inscribed in the “List of Nice Children” and not the “List of Naughty Children.”
It continued, explaining the role of Santa in the same vein — noting that the tradition was beloved despite how “terrifying … this belief sounds”:
Christians believe that Santa Claws will visit the homes on the List of Nice Children during the night of Erev Yom Saint Nikolas Ha’Kadosh (or Erev Yom Christmas), break into their houses, and leave gifts—but only if they were good the previous year. It is unclear how Christian families explain to their children why different Christian children receive their mystical visitor on different nights.
Some families teach their children that Saint Nikolas Ha’Kadosh will land on the roofs of their houses on a sled pulled by flying deer while they are asleep. As terrifying as this belief sounds, Christian children actually look forward to this home invasion because they wake up to presents that “#Santa” left for them in the middle of the night.
Some families leave a bribe for “Santa” to encourage him to give generously. The bribe typically consists of milk and cookies. A glass of wine is not left for “Santa” and a door is not left open— “Santa” is instead expected to break in through the chimney.
Both posts contained language about observances necessitating a letter from a “Christian Rabbi” to be properly excused:
Students who feel they need to miss class for their observance should bring a letter from their Christian rabbi.