How to Get Ready for Thanksgivukkah: Hannukah is Early this Year
The holiday season is almost upon us; we’re all at the starting gate poised to race toward the end of the year. While many of you are still stressing about turkey and stuffing recipes, I’m in panic mode preparing for two celebrations.
Hannukah, you see, will start on Thanksgiving weekend. I can almost hear other Jewish folks shaking their heads — oy vey — the planning!
It’s a common joke among us Jews: the holidays are early or late but NEVER on time. You might accuse me of having a Gregorian bias; but it would help my menopausal memory if we stuck with the same day each year.
Since we follow the lunar calendar, Hannukah can be as late as December 27 — (hello Christ-mukkah) or as early as November 28, which it is this year. I pray for the later dates which make the whole gift-giving thing easier. But — NO — this year I’m planning a family feast AND practically serving Hannukah for dessert. (hello Thanksgiv-ukkah!).
It’s not the only confusing part about the holiday. Don’t get me started on the whole spelling thing — is it Hannukah, Chanukah or Hanukah? This chicanery is another level of confusion.
With Hannukah on the early side, imagine me as a middle-of-the-night magician — creeping around my house to replace the Autumnal-themed house décor, cinnamon-smelling candles and cornucopias with my holiday box of silver and blue lights, Jewish trinkets, my dreidel collection and multiple menorahs.
Yes, I am that mom.
As far as holidays go, Chanukah doesn’t rank in the top Jewish three; but it’s been elevated to ‘high holiday’ status because of timing. An early Hanukah can be challenging — for children and the parents who gift to them.
When our children were young, an early Hannukah sometimes meant our little darlings were bored with their presents by the time December 25 rolled around. The novelty had long worn off. The three of them would return home from…