This year Hanukkah and Christmas have a major overlap. Hanukkah runs from sunset on December 20th through sunset on December 28th. While there is a song about the 12 days of Christmas, it’s primarily the 25th that’s celebrated. On some continents the 24th is the big day.
Despite there being 8 days of Hanukkah, the focus this time of year is on Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and nasty food like fruitcake and eggnog. What part of the egg exactly is the nog, anyway? Even though they fall at the same time of year, Hanukkah is really over-shadowed by the big fat guy in the red suit with his reindeer. You can even hear the sound of the dreidel spinning under the cacophony created by those sleighbells ring-a-linging. I have a little dreidel… So what! The other kids have got Santa, elves, candy canes, reindeer, talking snowmen, and you’ve got what—a spinning top?Who cares if you’re learning the rudimentary rules of poker and gambling, you haven’t got a tree!
Maybe we don’t have all the fairytale components to our holiday, but here are a few reasons why it’s good to be Jewish over the holidays:
Latkes—that’s right, we get to eat those greasy, potato pancake things till our arteries give out on us and our heart stops ticking. Load me up with another plate, and throw on some smoked salmon and caviar while you’re at it. I like my latkes Michelin 3-star style.
Double Holidays, Double The Fun—that’s right. We get to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas. Why? I dunno. Our religion doesn’t rule out us celebrating the birth of Christ. After all, he was a Jew, so what the heck. We can get into that.
More Days Of Gifts—the Jewish tradition is to give gifts on each day of Hanukkah. That’s like 8 days of Christmas, except there’s no naughty to nice quotient. Plus, some Jews also celebrate Christmas, so we can cash in on 9 days of gifts. Does it really matter that we don't have a tree to stash them under?
Challah—forget the low carb diet. We have a built in excuse to eat carbs. We are religiously obligated to eat bread, so put aside the rice crackers and bring on the egg and butter rich Challah. Yum.
Hawaii & Florida—since we’re not religiously obligated to spend Christmas with family, and since Hanukkah often falls a week or two before Christmas, we have the option of going somewhere warm for the holidays. It’s also kind of in our blood. Israel’s not exactly the North Pole.
Jewish Men—we have a valid reason for bringing a Jewish man home for the holidays. We’re not just dating them because they’re generally educated, successful and treat women well. We’re doing it to please our parents.