Image: Santa, a menorah, and “Say NO to Chrismukkah” in red letters.
Once upon a time, Elijah hosted a potluck supper. He asked all the guests to bring a dish from their own tradition.
- Sarah brought sufganiot, those fabulous jelly donuts that Israelis eat at Chanukah.
- Mike brought Irish Soda Bread.
- Jacob brought latkes with applesauce and sour cream.
- Louise brought a Christmas ham.
- Ruth brought hush puppies and fish, fried in oil.
- Jessie brought cranberry sauce.
- Erin brought sugar cookies with red and green icing.
- Aaron brought green bean salad, from his mom’s recipe.
As each of them arrived, Elijah welcomed them and had them put the dishes on the dining room table. Then, when everyone was there, he uncovered a big food processor and began to dump all the food into it, whirling it together into a paste.
The guests were horrified. The delicious food they’d brought was turned into muck! What a horrible thing to do!
That’s how I feel about “Chrismukkah” – it turns delightful holidays into “muk.” Christmas is beautiful on its own. Chanukah is beautiful on its own. Mixing them together is dreadful, like blendering ham with sugar cookies and latkes.
Chanukah is about the rededication of Jews to Judaism. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus – or in “secular Christmas” about warmth and giving. They are two separate holidays that truly don’t go together.
Enjoy the lights! Enjoy each other’s holidays! But keep them separate, so we can still taste them both.