Hanukkah begins on Tuesday evening, Dec. 16 – and this year, it’s where it should be on the calendar, a whole three weeks after Thanksgiving and a little bit before Christmas. Everyone remembers last year’s Thanksgivukkah debacle.
That got us thinking about what we love and don’t love so much about the holiday season.
Yay: Thanksgiving and Hanukkah are our two favorite holidays, and we like to keep them separate. We won’t have to serve potato latkes with our turkey again for about 80,000 years, according to the number crunchers.
Boo: Last year, this celestial calendar convergence allowed us to celebrate Hanukkah on its actual date. This year our kids might not make it home until the eighth night.
Yay: Target has a big aisle loaded with Hanukkah chazerai – gift wrap, napkins, menorot, and mugs decorated with the all purpose Jewish expression “Oy vey!” Way to represent the Tribe.
Boo: We don’t need another menorah. We have classy ones, artistic ones, and all the ones our kids made through the years, from a block of wood with nine metal bolts to one we made together at a Paint Your Own studio.
Yay: We love buying presents for our kids.
Boo: They’re not satisfied with Fisher Price toys anymore, and we don’t have any grandchildren yet to justify our making a trip to Toys “R” Us .
Yay: Like sneakers and coffee, there used to be only one choice for Hanukkah candles – the blue box in the supermarket with the pale candles in washed out yellow and almost red.
Now there are so many choices – beeswax in vibrant colors, tie-dyed stripey ones, and artistic ones from the candle factory in Safed, Israel.
Boo: How many Hanukkah candles do we really need? Why are we stockpiling six boxes? Because they’re pretty, and it’s handy to have a few in the kitchen drawer to use for birthday candles.
Yay: It’s latke time. We love reading recipes for parsnip carrot zucchini latkes, but we’ll be sticking with original potato ones to please our families.
Boo: Why did we start a diet after Thanksgiving? Get out the oil.
Yay: Our kids are grown. We no longer have to explain why we don’t have a Christmas tree.
Boo: But how do we tell them we weren’t home when they called because we were driving through South Philly looking at the houses with Christmas lights?
Yay: Our husbands don’t have to risk life and limb getting on a ladder to string lights from the gutters.
Boo: Our houses look so bare without twinkly lights.
Yay: No lights for us, but we want to decorate with something. We were happy to find a “tasteful winter-themed” door decoration with ribbons and pinecones.
Boo: It took one minute for one of our husbands to say, “What’s that wreath doing on the front door?
Yay: We were impressed that Kohl’s had a big Hanukkah selection, including blue and white rope cufflinks, a glass dreidel you’d never let the kids spin, a Peace Love Hanukkah throw pillow, and a Star of David bundt cake pan.
Boo: They lose points for offering a “4-piece Hanukkah ornament set.” (See the third to the last item: $71.99…oy) We aren’t hanging a blue glass dreidel on a tree.
Yay: We look forward to family Hanukkah parties, holiday staff dinners, and having time with our kids and our friends who like to get together and celebrate over the holidays.
Boo: Before we know it, the holidays will be done. It’ll be 2015 and we’ll be kvetching about the snow forecast for February and counting the days until Passover.
We wish you a Happy Hanukkah!