Columns - 2008

    Mergers and acquisitions

    by Doug Brook
    Deep South Jewish Voice columnist

    The latest, and potentially most unexpected, merger to result from the worsening economy was finally approved earlier this month.

    Sources confirm that in an effort to consolidate seasonal spending and celebration, beginning this year the separate holidays of Christmas and Chanukah will be celebrated as a single festival.

    The name for this combined annual entity will be Chrisnukah.

    Chrisnukah, or Xnukah for short, is the brainchild of an emergency gathering of worldwide religious leaders earlier reported as Vati-Con III. Faced with the significant downturn in the global economy, it was determined that proactive steps were necessary to avoid a religious upheaval unseen since the last time Barry Manilow attempted a second encore.

    Details of the merger are still forthcoming, but a few initial facts were released. For example, as a compromise between the eight days of Chanukah and twelve days of Christmas, Chrisnukah will be observed for ten days.

    In deference to Chanukah, the dates for the ten-day Chrisnukah observance will vary based on the lunar calendar as before, except that some part of the holiday must fall on December 25th every year.

    To determine the dates each year given that restriction, an algorithm was created of such complexity that nobody in this columnist's pay grade could possibly interpret it.

    Before you start conjuring recipes for figgy latkes, or homeopathic remedies for having eaten them, bear in mind that many aspects of this newly combined holiday are still being worked out.

    Other details will be released as they are ratified, but the newly-amalgamated biblical story of Chrisnukah was released so the masses can spiritually realign themselves to whatever extent they find necessary. This realignment could range from restating fundamental religious beliefs to replacing fundamental wrapping paper choices.

    The story as it now once occurred...

    In the days when King Antiochus ruled the land of Judea, an uprising occurred. This uprising was led by Judah Maccabbee and his brothers, Eliezer, Simon, Alvin, Theodore, and Rudolph.

    Despite fighting against vastly larger forces, the revolt was triumphant due to the reindeer games they'd play against their oppressors. In particular, the Donner party was known for its relentless blitzin' tactics. And all through the night, there was not a dasher or prancer in sight. Just the occasional vixen trying to play cupid, for the right price.

    As soon as the fighting stopped, Judah's father went straight from the battlefield and jumped into a giant sled and took off throughout the land. As he replaced the slaying with sleighing, flying by like a comet, his long white beard, red clothes (still freshly-colored from battle), and jolly mood became instantly known across the kingdom as symbols of peace for all mankind.

    After the victory, it was up to the brothers to clean and rededicate the Great Temple in Jerusalem. The first miracle of Chrisnukah was that instead of lasting just one day, the cleaning took the brothers eight days to finish.

    In the courtyard, they planted trees (as Jews still do to this day). The women and children snuck in and decorated the trees for the upcoming victory celebration, hanging whatever they could find around the house on them.

    Rudolph was a bit lit, his nose was a shiny red. Unfortunately he was the only thing staying lit because there was oil enough for the menorah to last just one day. Due to recent drops in OPEC production, more oil would not arrive for another ten days.

    However, three wise men arrived with a special oil found at a nearby manger. This native tea caused quite a scene, as everyone had high hopes that it would be enough. The second miracle of Chrisnukah is that the oil did last for all ten days.

    This oil was rare indeed, so rare that it was all secreted to a special location at the North Pole for safekeeping. After all, who would prospect for oil that far north?

    (Of course, the same oil that could last for ten days instead of one is surely strong enough to power a sleigh to be able to visit every household around the world in just one night. Again, the math is beyond this columnist's pay grade.)

    And that is the story of Chrisnukah. Happy Chrisnukah to all, and to all a good light.

    Doug Brook is a writer in Silicon Valley who this time has finally cooked his own Chrisnukah goose. For more information, past columns, other writings, and more, visit

    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.