INTERFAITH HUMOR A HIT ON HOLIDAY CARDS
(As we have explained many times before, McSweeney’s is counting down last year’s most neglected press releases. The press release below, along with all others cited on our list, are real and have not been edited for space and grammar.)
CLEVELAND, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ — In a world where religious differences sometimes divide us, it’s nice to know we can occasionally find humor in our common bonds of humanity. American Greetings is offering a new series of L’Chayim Hanukkah cards that express this spirit of brotherhood in a lighthearted way.
According to Terry Kovach, American Greetings product manager, funny Hanukkah cards with interfaith symbols and messages have become very popular. “We first test-marketed a few in 1996, and consumers absolutely loved them,” Kovach said. “In fact, they were among the top-selling Hanukkah cards in our test stores. They were such a hit that we added new designs in 1997, and again this year.”
One such card from American Greetings pictures a cartoon drawing of a rabbi and a Santa on the front. The two bearded men are sharing a copy of the newspaper as they ride the bus. The card’s message is simple, but eloquent: “Shalom. Peace. Happy Hanukkah.”
Another card shows a fireplace with a Menorah displayed prominently on the mantle. A dog is sitting in front of the fireplace with a piece of Santa’s red suit in his mouth. The playful message inside says, “Happy Hanukkah from your faithful dog.”
For Jewish folks who are committed to preserving nature, American Greetings even offers an “environmentally correct” Hanukkah card. The tongue-in-cheek message inside notes that it’s made from recycled Christmas trees.
Why is interfaith humor so popular? Kovach said there are a couple of reasons. “Hanukkah and Christmas fall close together during the calendar year, so there is a natural opportunity to have some fun with the secular traditions of the two holidays,” she explained.
“Also, in today’s multicultural world, our circle of friends typically includes people of all faiths, and sometimes there are even different religions within a family. Humor offers a gentle way to ‘bridge the gap’ while acknowledging our differences.”
Kovach admitted the humorous cards are not for everyone. “American Greetings also offers a large variety of religious and traditional cards for both Hanukkah and Christmas,” she said. For those who prefer the high tech approach, the company also offers electronic holiday greetings that can be sent from computer to computer via email. Their web site is at http://www.americangreetings.com.
American Greetings is the world’s largest publicly owned creator, manufacturer and distributor of greeting cards and special occasion products.