We have enough trouble spelling Hanukkah-Chanukah, only to throw in another word scrambler Thanksgivukkah because the Jewish and secular calendars converge this year. In the Hebrew calendar, which follows the sun and the moon, the festival of lights starts on the date of 25 Kislev, which officially starts at sunset before Thanksgiving. On the Gregorian calendar, Thanksgiving sits on the fourth Thursday in November. The last time the two holidays coincided was 1888, 25 years after President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a holiday. This historical moment won’t happen again for another 77,798 years, so we might as well embrace the hybrid holiday by topping sweet potato latkes with cranberry applesauce and brining our turkey with Manischewitz.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when my son Jack was in elementary school, and I used to put a Hershey’s Kiss in his sack lunch with a little note that said something like, “Have a fun day!” or “Good luck on your spelling test!” or “xxxooo.” That lasted about a week, until he finally said, no more embarrassing notes, just chocolate.
To get you in the mood for Thanksgiving, here’s a bit of trivia:
Question: Where did the pilgrims first land?
Answer: Plymouth Rock, which is now Massachusetts.
Question: Who was the first tribe to entertain lavishly—the Wampanoag Indians or the Jewish people?
Answer: The Jews. (That’s a no-brainer).
Question: Did the English settlers and Native Americans eat turkey at the first thanksgiving meal?
Answer: Probably not. Historical documents indicate that they gobbled up venison and wildfowl, but no pumpkin pie with whipped topping.
Question: Which president proclaimed the first national Thanksgiving Day?
Answer: George Washington. (This is a trick question). Continue reading
Is it just me, or does anyone else out there feel the stress of you-know-what around the corner? It seems to me that the winter holiday season, also known as Hanukkah hysteria or December dilemma, sneaks up on us earlier each year, like before I even have a chance to polish off my kids stale tootsie rolls. No sooner than I unplug the electric jack-o-lantern from the outdoor extension cord does our gentile society suck us into their world…Santas at every shopping mall, Jingle Bells on every radio station, and gigantic wreaths and red velvet ribbons tied around every light post in town. No wonder I find myself singing Winter Wonderland in the shower. Continue reading