21 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Jewish During The Holiday Season

12/22/13 9:52PM EST

It’s hard to be a Jew during Christmas, but it’s much easier to spot one. If you’re looking to spread your holiday cheer to someone who’s missing out this season (Hannukah came and went back with Thanksgiving), here’s what to look for:

1. They Don’t Listen To Christmas Music

No Jingling Bells in these households, which actually stands out when everyone else insists on playing the same tunes over and over for the whole month of December.

2. They Don’t Have Ugly, Seasonal Sweaters

Those oversize, red and green sweaters that Christians break out of storage during the holiday season will not adorn the body of a Jew. Jews probably don’t even know where to find one. (Do Christians get them passed down from their grandparents…?)

3. They’re Not Spending A Ton Of Money On Holiday Shopping

Insert classic Jew joke here. But really, Hannukah gifts are only to appease small children who don’t understand why their Christian friends get loaded down with presents at this time of year while all they get are some lit candles and potato pancakes.

4. They’re In Chinese Restaurants On Christmas Eve/Day

Another stereotype, but it’s true. Chinese restaurants stay open for Christmas and the Jews get them all to themselves.

5. They Get A Sort Of Forlorn, Wistful Look In Their Eyes When They Glance At Christmas Trees…

Forget the presents and the holiday cheer—most Jews feel a sort of envy when it comes to those decorated trees. They’re just so…pleasant. And festive. Who wouldn’t want one in their living room to mark a time of joy?

6. They’re Complaining

Most people get this joyous glow in their rosy cheeks during the holiday season. Jews will still complain about everything.

7. They’re Complaining Specifically About Winter Illnesses

If they don’t have a cold, they think one might be coming on. It’s kind of a neurotic winter plague for the tribe.

8. They Bring Gold-Wrapped Chocolate Coins As Holiday Party Favors

21 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Jewish During The Holiday Season  21 Ways To Tell If Someone Is Jewish During The Holiday Season

Image via Flickr/ Liz West

Known as gelt. They are used for very low-scale games of luck with spinning tops called dreidels. This constitutes a Hannukah tradition.

9. They Bring Potato Pancakes To Holiday Potlucks

Called latkes, the only truly traditional holiday food for Jewish people at this time of year (discounting brisket, of course).

10. They’re At The Movies

Also open during the holidays, and what else are Jews going to do during this free day off?

11. They Poke Fun At Their Christian Friends’ “Materialism”

Gifts shmifts? Christmas has become all about Santa and getting spoiled. At least Jews are celebrating a true miracle this time of year, not that of a fat man fitting down a bunch of chimneys!

12. They Will Belittle Christmas By Noting That Hannukah Lasts Longer

Yes, Christians get a bunch of presents that Santa sticks beneath a beautifully adorned pine tree, but Jews get eight whole days of…well, probably the equivalent of stocking stuffers.

13. They’re Cashing/Writing Checks

Standard Jew holiday present—just give the grandkids money, they’ll like that!

14. They’re Working

At the time of year when everyone else is on vacation spending all of their money, Jews can pick up the slack at work and make some.

15. The Mall Santa Does Not Make Them Smile

In fact, they will probably cringe and/or make some comment about strangers not touching their children.

16. They Always Look Slightly Bewildered At The Ubiquitous “Merry Christmas!” Greeting

Though it’s almost akin to saying, “Happy Holidays,” Jews will not find this salutation relevant.

17. They Don’t Tip Better

Again, insert classic Jew joke.

18. The Holiday Cards They Send Will Not Contain Pictures Of Their Families

That’s just not something members of the tribe tend to do. Don’t ask me why. They might send you a novel about what their family’s been up to, though (including all hospital visits and woes about grown children remaining single).

19. Their Homes Lack Holiday Décor

Maybe one in a million will have a giant menorah in their front yard, but this is doubtful.

20. They’re Remarkably Well Dressed For The Cold

They have poor circulation in their hands and feet, so gloves and thick socks are a must. Being prone to winter illnesses, they definitely need to cover up vulnerable spots like the head. It’s best to be practical with these kinds of things.

21. No Plastered-To-Their-Faces Holiday Smiles

Sometimes you look at really waspy people around Christmas time and think that their faces are about to shatter because of the stiff grin that has stayed in place from Thanksgiving to New Years. Jews make no such false pretenses regarding holiday cheer.

Disclaimer: In case you were offended by any of the stereotypes or suggestions in this article, you should know that the author is a (self-effacing) Jew.