This year, as most Jews have likely been long aware of, Thanksgiving happens to coincide with Hanukkah.
The holiday of excessive turkey eating falls late this year, on Nov. 28. Hanukkah, meanwhile, starts earlier than usual, on Wednesday. Therefore, come Thursday, two major holidays will happen concurrently.
Since both holidays encompass similar themes, like thankfulness, rededication and family, it isn’t really that big of a deal, and it shouldn’t form a major inconvenience to any plans. If anything, it’s beneficial because it means Jewish families only have to visit each other one time this holiday season. You save gas money, you avoid the inevitable awkwardness that comes with seeing your cousins, uncles and aunts twice in a few weeks, and you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone with one gathering around the dinner table.
You watch football, spin a dreidel, drink some wine, and bam, you’re done.
So that’s that. No more fuss needs to be made about it. I can’t imagine there are many people out there who are irate that these two holidays are together this year.
And no, I couldn’t care less about the religious significance, but rather, I’m angry because the fusion of these two holidays has led to a new nickname. It was only a matter of time before some idiot put two and two together, and as a result, we have now all been exposed to the word, “Thanksgivukkah.”
There’s no going back at this point. There’s some things that can’t be unheard. This is one of them.
I understand that this is not without precedent. Years ago, somebody had the brilliant idea to combine Christmas and Hanukkah to form “Christmakkuh,” and the word has since become popular in interfaith households. But at least that makes a little sense. The holidays are closely intertwined, they’re more commonly celebrated during the same time period, and both involve the exchanging of gifts. In fact, these holidays — though unique to their respective religion — are pretty much associated together when people discuss the December “holiday season.”
Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapping, on the other hand, is basically like a solar eclipse. Actually, it may even be rarer. According to Chabad, an Orthodox Judaism worldwide movement, the last time the two holidays coincided was in 1899, and the next time it will happen will be in 2070.
But let’s give a nickname to something that may only happen once in our lifetimes.
I really can’t think of a less pleasing sound than the word “Thanksgivukah.” Even typing it is a nightmare. It’s too forced, and it shows that people are just trying way too hard.
The holidays should bring about natural fervor. We should become excited to get extra days off from work, to see our distant relatives, to pig out on food, watch football and receive gifts. If that doesn’t stir excitement in you, then you probably have some type of endorphin deficiency.
A quirky nickname is not needed to encapsulate it. And yes, before you ask — which you won’t — I am excited. I am greatly anticipating this Thursday. I will be happy. But that doesn’t mean all of the annoying things in this world will suddenly evaporate, and Thankgivukkah is among those.
Oh well. I might as well beat everyone to the punch and create a nickname to incorporate all holidays.
Happy Valenteasterpendenceovermemorialgivingchristmakwanzakkuh everyone!