In my book, A Kosher Christmas: ‘Tis the Season to Be Jewish, I devote a chapter to what, in modern parlance, might be termed “blended holidays.” Immediately what comes to mind is Chrismukkah, which was created by American businesses and organizations to cater to interfaith families. I will be discussing this hybrid holiday later in the season but the term can also be applied, although certainly with less surrounding controversy, to the once-in-a-lifetime media blitz that is Thanksgivukkah. The array of articles to read, items to be purchased, and events to attend is dizzying. With a hat (tri-cornered or buckle-festooned) tipped to next Thursday, here are the last mentions that I will make of this unique event!
Major League Dreidel is hosting its annual spinning contest, retitled this year, Thanks-Spinning, on Monday, November 25th at Full Circle Bar, 318 Grand Street (between Havemeyer Street and Marcy Avenue) in Williamsburg at 8:00 pm. (For more information, call: 347 725 4588)
In “How About Latkes With Cranberry Sauce?” Rabbi Gerald L. Zelizer engages in an erudite discussion of the linkage between Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Sukkot. [see “Forward Forum,” The Forward, November 15, 2013, page 13]
Rumor has it that Macy’s has added a giant dreidel to its Thanksgiving Parade line-up!
An alternative t-shirt can be purchased bearing the image of Judah Maccabee. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, our dear friend and cooking impresario Jennifer Abadi, speculates, in her blog “What if in another century or more Passover somehow crossed over with Thanksgiving AND Chanukah? How would we cope with this holy trinity, and more importantly, what would we serve? She then offers “the perfect recipe that embodies a little bit for each holiday: A sweet & spicy sweet potato latke with cumin, curry, and cayenne, that is served with cranberry sauce and/or apple butter! Yes, here is how it works for all you skeptics out there: sweet potato cumin-curry-cayenne latkes with cranberry relish.” [see: http://toogoodtopassover.com/2013/11/25/what-about-passgivukkuh/]
Much speculation has been given to why Thanksgivukkah has been so widely embraced. Allison Kaplan Sommer offers that Chrismukkah carries a “whiff of stigma and guilt of assimilation.” Thanksgiving is a cherished American holiday lacking in religious undertone and is food-centric. The blending of the two holidays is therefore without controversy. [See: Allison Kaplan Sommer, “Hanukkah occupies Thanksgiving: Colbert hates it, Jews love it: Why is this artifact of dates so hyped? Because unlike Christmukkah, there is no whiff of assimilation guilt.”Haaretz, October 13, 2013]
Lastly, the moniker “Givukkah” has been bandied about. This could certainly apply any day of the year when gifts are proffered and would not be restricted to the confluence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah!
That said, it is with gratitude that the confluence of the two holidays will soon be behind us!