Reflections on Thanksgivukkah on the last night of the holiday

Vox is the person Stephen Colbert and the ultra-right hate: the one who impertinently asks, “what about Hanukkah?” whenever I’m within earshot of a Christmas tiding. I don’t do it for the sake of kvetching – I’m mostly joking, in fact (it’s a long tradition in The Tribe).

But, there is a kernel of concern in my interjection. With 6.5 percent of Georgetown’s student body identifying as Jewish, compared to an even lower national rate (2.2 percent), Hanukkah runs the risk of becoming a mere figment of religious diversity; a kind of cop-out good for little else but assuaging a collective fear that we’re not inclusive enough. For a cautionary tale, I look no further than Kwanzaa (which is not to say that I don’t believe Kwanzaa is “legitimate” so to speak; rather, that a significant number of Americans regard it merely as a further machination of the Cult of PC). And so, the question seems very pertinent to me: “What about Hanukkah?”

I’ll tell you what: Hanukkah isn’t Christmas for Jews. No, even after this years once-in-a-lifetime Thanksgivukkah, it isn’t even Thanksgiving for Jews. It merits no direct comparison to any holiday, Christian or otherwise, because, at least according to the supremely reputable, it’s all about the triumph of the ancient Jews over the Greeks (probably). While this means abandoning the concepts of Hanukkah Harry and (though it pains me) the Hanukkah Bush, it at least lends itself to the attractive tagline, “Keep the Han in Hanukkah.” Yes, Harrison Ford is (a quarter) Jewish.

But, Vox digresses. The Jews have been celebrating Hanukkah for over two millennia, and we’re not planning on stopping anytime soon. The holiday doesn’t really belong in a portmanteau like Chrismukkah or Thanksgivukkah. It’s our party, we can do what we want to.

So, to the millions of Americans out there celebrating the last night of Hanukkah tomorrow, Vox implores you to jam out to Adam Sandler and Matisyahu, knock back a tall glass of Manischewitz, and take a little (smug) satisfaction in the knowledge that you’re keeping the “Happy Holiday” greeting relevant.

Photo: Marsmettnn Tallahassee via Flickr

2 Comments on “Reflections on Thanksgivukkah on the last night of the holiday

  1. Isn’t the “quarter Jewish” claim a little odd in this story? Can one be a “quarter Catholic”?

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