Why Thanksgivukkah makes a holiday-free December bearable


Jillian Sandler/Daliy Senior Staffer

Jewish-American families had the once in a lifetime opportunity to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah on Thursday. The occasion, dubbed “Thanksgivukkah,” is not expected to happen again for more than 79,000 years.

Jillian Sandler, Development Editor

I’ve spent the majority of my life lamenting the fact that my house looks rather barren every holiday season in comparison to the ones donning lavish displays of colorful lights. Growing up in a Jewish household, I was always denied the beauty of glowing blue icicles hanging from my gutter, but we made up for it by displaying a glistening menorah in my kitchen for eight nights. It was a good thing Hanukkah coincided with Christmas light season because otherwise December at the Sandler residence would have been incredibly bleak.

But this year, most of December will be cold, long and dark, as the first full day of Hanukkah happened to coincide with Thanksgiving. The next month may be shaping up to be pretty dull, but trust me, it was worth it. The collision of the two holidays — an occasion affectionately and rather cleverly dubbed as “Thanksgivukkah” — proved to be rather advantageous in many other respects, making the prospect of a holiday-free December a little less daunting. Here’s why:

  1. I had the opportunity to stuff my face with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, potato latkes with applesauce, Hanukkah gelt and sugar cookies shaped like Hebrew letters in the span of an hour. When else is it socially acceptable to do this? Never. You’ll have to wait more than 79,000 years before it will be OK again.
  2. All of the above for leftovers all weekend long. Yes, everyone else probably had leftovers too, but did you have the pleasure of eating applesauce straight from the jar for three days? No, you probably didn’t.
  3. Gifts, gifts and more gifts. The only thing most of my comrades brought back to school after Thanksgivukkah break was an extra five pounds of body mass. I, however, brought back all of that and so much more. Granted, the gifts consisted mostly of sunscreen, toothpaste and cans of tuna, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
  4. The most important thing of all: I’m done with family obligations for the year. While all you kids have to spend even more time with your family when Christmas rolls around, I had the pleasure of killing two holidays with one (very rowdy) reunion. It feels so good to not have to spend all Winter Break trying (and failing) to be social and repeatedly explaining to all of my third cousins why I don’t yet have a job lined up for after graduation. Jealous? Thought so.

So, while December may be devoid of any celebrations this year, I’m looking forward to hiding in my blanket fort, watching Netflix for three weeks without getting yelled at for my lack of human interaction. If there’s anything to be thankful for this holiday season, it’s definitely that.

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Twitter: @jillian625