Chrismahanukwanzakah sucks

I am a total Scrooge when it comes to the holidays. Halloween is the last great day of the year in my opinion. After that I just hold on until Martin Luther King Day. It’s the usual rant of course. I hate that the holidays are all about consumerism. I could use a new digital camera because mine broke last week, but that is the extent to which I will participate in these holidays. Virgin Mobile is trying to sell some cell phones during the holiday crunch. In fact, they have decided that they will create a brand new holiday called Chrismahanukwanzakah that will maybe appeal to…well I don’t know, agnostics maybe? There is no holiday for agnostics after all. Their ad campaign includes a cast of characters that can only be described as freaks. This includes a Hindu Santa Claus, and a pair of Hasidic Jews that sing about a dreidel made out of meat that they will eat and poop out. If you see the commercial on TV you will see that the Hindu Santa Claus plays to stereotype. The clip on the website is even lamer. Here are the lyrics:

Silent Chrismahanukwanzakah night
Holy Chrismahanukwanzakah night
Chrismahanukwanzakah is come
Chrismahanukwanzakah is bright
My new phone vibrate and tickle me
Holy guacamole it play .mp3
Can I have some chutney please
Can I have some chutney please

You know, cause a Hindu Santa Claus would be a chutney eater. Ba humbug.

Update: See last year’s ad campaign.

35 thoughts on “Chrismahanukwanzakah sucks

  1. I am so glad I will be in India for the majority of the holiday season. I am a humbug when it comes to the holidays. People get too uptight when it comes to religious displays, shopping is f***ing madness, and I absolutely hate Christmas music.

  2. Why does the Hindu santa not have any beard??
    extremely lame ad. BTW, how many africans in the US actually celebrate Kwanza??

  3. BTW, how many africans in the US actually celebrate Kwanza??

    oddly, more than you think. i taught at an innercity school for two years [Teach for America Detroit--the lost corps]. and 99% of the school was african american and the only holiday everyone could agree was totally okay to do was Kwanzaa. Christmas was out b/c the Muslim parents got annoyed. Ramadan was out b/c the Christian parents were annoyed. Hanukah was out b/c there were no jewish kids. and the only other holiday we celebrated the entire year was Diwali–and that’s b/c I was ‘sharing my culture’ with the kids.

    and about being religiously sensitive. my barely hindu family… celebrates the secular side of christmas–which means one way gift giving [from parents to children]…hehehe.

    and… i sort of have a soft spot for christmas trees… i think they’re fun. when i have kids i’m going to decorate my tree with Om ornaments and little sita, ganesha, and ram ornaments…and my tree is going to be topped with a flute playing krishna. [okay i probably won't do that...but it was a fun picture to paint in my head].

  4. I actually did that last year. Put up a tree with ornaments and bulbs and topped it with a silver idol of Krishna playing the flute…My “Krishmas” tree :-)

  5. while there is general dissing of the tradition – there are charming aspects to it – so please ignore the general tastelessness of the virgin ads – they target the dweeb demographic anyway, i’m sure that’s not you.
    for those who, like i were brought up not knowing the general christmas traditions – see if you can attend mass anywhere – you dont have to attend communion – but just attending it can be a majestic and uplifting experience – not sure if this is practiced at many churches – but i attended mass this past easter at a catholic church where i discovered this wonderful traditin – at a point in the mass everyone turned around, shook hands with their neighbors and wished peace – i loved the touch – touch for the purpose of wishing someone well – not for courtesy, professional or otherwise – a genuine smile and a warm handshake. Of course the social aspects of a mass transcend culture – i have been taken back to the times i attended sunday prayers at the arya samaj temple in nairobi – at that time of course i’d just want to hang out with my buddies and swap the collectibles-du-jour and try to sneak halwa from the kitchen – and so it is with the kids – and the latecomers – and the donations – and the ‘havent seen you in a while, how’s the business these days’, and the ‘i heard D_ is having her tonsils removed’ etc.

  6. OK looks like I’m the only one that laughed at the ad. The desi santa was goofy but the dreidel song was hysterical. Every holiday season needs a little bit of humor just as much as every visit to India (read aunties trying to get you married) needs a little bit of valium. I wait for the holidays every year so I can hear all those hysterical Adam Sandler songs.

  7. Does anyone see this just as a legitimate British parody poking fun at Americans for being so sanctimonious about religion (whatever religion that may be)?

  8. Does anyone see this just as a legitimate British parody poking fun at Americans for being so sanctimonious about religion (whatever religion that may be)?

    maybe if i knew what “sanctimonious” meant… i might have an opinion…

    i’ll have to look it up and get back to you. =)

  9. as some of you know, christmas is a case of cultural assimilation. it derives its importance from the zeitgeist of winter solstice festivals common in northern and southern europe (yule and saturnalia respectively to give two specific examples). in the late 3rd century the emperor aurelian declared dec. 25th the birthday of sol invictus (invicible sun), and it served as a centerpiece for a cluster of early winter celebrations which were slotted into the saturnalia. the early church emphasized easter as the premier celebration of the christian calender, but it declared the 25th the birthday of christ later on, likely in part to co-opt the tendency for believers to partake in pagan celebrations. there have been periodic attempts to remove xmas from the list of christian celebrations, the most recent widespread attempt was during the colonial period in new england where the puritans frowned upon the celebration because of its non-scriptural origins. the roman catholic church, which accepts the validity of religious traditions not grounded in scripture, has traditionally defended the christian roots of xmas. finally, it is important to understand that part of the protestant reaction to xmas as a pagan holiday is beacuse so many of the customs are pretty obviously pagan* in origin. e.g., yule log = germanic phallic symbol, the reindeers of santa, xmas cookies, the ‘world tree’ (xmas tree) etc.

    myself, i abhor the consumerist pressures of the holiday season though i enjoy the lights and what not. but it has always been a somewhat cosmopolitan, muddled and contentious season. and, as an atheist, it is an important rebuttal point i have to make when i listen to christians asserting that ‘jesus is the reason for the season.’ contra that contention, the season preceded jesus.

    • the term ‘pagan’ can loosely mean the pre-christian traditions of northern europe which, or might not, have a spiritual provenance that is outside of the abrahamic lineage.
  10. Well, the best thing to do to fight Madison Ave and all the corporate markdowns, etc., is to not shop, esp. on Black Friday. Otherwise, you are just being assimilated into their “numbers.” In fact, I plan on keeping my spending to a minimum – alcohol excluded, of course. ;)

    And Razib, what else is most surprising is the results of various councils, such as that of Nicea (sp?), as far as the Church is concerned – very amusing stuff.

  11. Well, the best thing to do to fight Madison Ave and all the corporate markdowns, etc., is to not shop, esp. on Black Friday.

    Aww come on. Those are the best deals. Just remember to invest in the boxing gloves beforehand. I scored myself a hot pair of boots on Black Friday!

  12. The ‘hindu’ had a perfect bengali/bangladeshi accent..the ‘angel’ had a good japanese speaking english accent.

  13. Does anyone see this just as a legitimate British parody poking fun at Americans for being so sanctimonious about religion (whatever religion that may be)?

    Yeah, I agree, it’s a tongue-in-cheeky commentary on how the holiday season has essentially become a big mish-mash of stuff. Stupid to the point of being offensive? Yeah, but I think that’s the point (“Sure, none of this makes sense or has anything to do with what you’re supposed to be celebrating, but it’s the ‘holiday season’ and so, while you’re buying this crap, why not buy our crap too?”)

    A meat-dreidel does seem a bit more offensive than a chutney-eater (btw, does the Hindu have something Sikh on his head?), and the irony of “creating” an all-inclusive holiday that offends everybody is kind of funny. However, in the end, no one likes a smart-ass and so I don’t think the campaign will help Virgin sell any phones.

  14. I finally watched this year’s Virgin ad-shorts. They’re all lame. Too bad the animation from last year isn’t up any more; I liked that one too.

  15. No holidays for you, not as long as Andy Rooney has anything to say about it. From last night’s 60 Minutes:

    Here’s something I find really interesting. It’s from a newspaper called India Abroad. The writer, Sanchit Gupta, lives in the United States and he wants to know why Diwali is not recognized as a holiday here. I looked up Diwali and it sounds like a great holiday. It’s a five-day Hindu festival. And it’s interesting because we’re getting more religious diversity in this country and theyÂ’re all going to want their own Diwalis. I donÂ’t know how we’ll handle that. We’re already taking too much time off with holidays we have. How can we celebrate Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Christian holidays? What about an atheist holiday?
  16. How can we celebrate Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Christian holidays?

    I dont think I will see a “holiday” for Id in America in my lifetime.

  17. that commercial sux very very badly. andy rooney is a tool who was bitter even before he was ancient.

    let’s just start the revolution and start a new country called “south asian persuasion” where we throw the chumps out. whoevers in, meet in the starbucks on madison ave in 20 minutes.

  18. Who are you people? This was absolutely, laugh out loud, hilarious. Lighten up!! This is one of the funniest ad campaigns I’ve seen in a long time.

  19. “I think crude ethnic stereotypes of other groups are hilarious. I’m utterly clueless as to why you’re offended. Lighten up!”

    Hey Parry Hilton, maybe next you’ll tell us you don’t get why the poor complain about the price of food. What an insight. What a guy.

  20. Yeah lighten up, but hey im a Jew and I LOVE pork, I am NOT Kosher at all, so streotypical, just like everything in the country. Hey sterotypes sell phones, so what the heck!

  21. you should lighten up its Chrismahanukwanzakah time and you should all be giving each other dradles, trees, and something for black floks.