In case you've been living under a rock, the Jewish
population in America is very excited about Thanksgiving this year.
In a Christmas-filled world we Jews are usually quietly celebrating
Chanukah at home. It's quite difficult to ignore the splashy
celebrations of Christmas. Beautiful twinkly lights, advertisements
and toys commercials abound and all our cartoons pre-empted for
Christmas specials. It's a happy, wonderful time of year that often
we feel left out of.
So, that's what's so awesome this year!
Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first time ever
will coincide. Typically Chanukah is a winter celebration often
overlapping with Christmas during late December. This makes for a
lot of questions from my little ones as to why we don't have a
tree, when Santa is coming over already and why can't our house
light up too?
It's sort of a downer for any Jewish American kid
to not have Christmas lights on the block. But, with this earlier
celebration of Chanukah we sort of get our 'own' time of year to
celebrate the Festival of Lights with the candles we will put in
our window for 8 days in NOVEMBER.
The second night of Chanukah falling on
Thanksgiving makes for fun and interesting menus choices as well.
Traditional turkeys mixed with sweet potato latkas (traditional
Chanukah potato pancakes). Chefs all across the kosher gamut are
living it up reinventing Thanksgiving and Chanukah. We've tweaked
the meaning of Thanksgiving by combining an American holiday
celebrating thankfulness with a Jewish holiday celebrating
As all good retailers will tell you, finding a
catchy name was important. "Thanksgivukkah" was born and with it,
merchandising. Tons of t-shirts, "Menurkeys" (Turkey-shaped
Menorahs), Kippahs (headcoverings), games and tons of other
Thanksgivikkah paraphernalia were quickly put on sale. Parades and
national celebrations have been put together. It has become a sort
of neuvo-holiday that we will not see the likes of for around
another 6000 years.
So, even though this is a once in a lifetime event,
my kids are extra excited this year that finally Chanukah is
getting some airtime. My hairdresser today asked me what
Thanksgivikkah was all about, making my four-year-old smile wide
and happily tell him all about it.
Have a happy Thanksgivukkah to one and
Sara Kutliroff is a freelance writer and blogger trying not to forget the "me” in mommy.
See more of Sara's stories here.
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