Need more proof the holiday gods loathe interfaith families like mine who celebrate everything? Thanksgiving and Hanukkah arrive together this year. (Yes, dutiful observers: Hanukkah technically arrives the night before Thanksgiving. Thanks for the reminder why nobody likes dutiful observers.)
Anyway, in honor of this only-in-a-shiksa’s-worst-nightmare scenario, I hope you’ll try some of my family’s favorite Thanksgivukkah rituals. The more of them you enjoy, the more likely we’ll be to bump into each other at therapy.
Happy Thanksgivukkah! And may the odds be ever in your favor!
- Finding the Menorahs. Remember when you took down last year’s Christmas decorations, blithely chucking dreidels and blue table runners into any old red-and-green Rubbermaid box that would hold them? Well, the calendar may say “November,” but it’s time to dig through those boxes—yep, every one of them, right now—in search of your family’s Festival of Lights detritus. And be sure to get the kids involved. The thrill of crawling through the spider-webby, unfinished part of the basement knows no age!
- Buying the Candles. You didn’t really wait until the last minute for this one, did you? Oh. Anyhow, the good news is there are still a few boxes of menorah candles to be had down at the Safeway. The bad news is they’re buried in the seasonal aisle amid the mini marshmallows, pumpkin puree, and jars of giblet gravy. (Giblet gravy? Seriously, people?) The place is bound to be a wee bit crowded, but it could be worse. It could be raining. I said, IT COULD BE RAINING.
- Recounting the Miracle of Thanksgivukkah. According to legend, the Pilgrims had only enough bland, starchy food for one night. But the leftovers—from the candied sweet potatoes to those disgusting creamed onions nobody even likes—lasted for eight nights. So as you celebrate lo these long days, remind the little ones that their crippling stomach cramps and early signs of scurvy are all part of the fun. Next year at Plymouth Rock!
What’re your most dreaded, er, favorite holiday rituals? Tell me about them!
[Image courtesy of JewishBoston.com]