Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Makes Thanksgivukkah!

4 Nov

photoWhen my daughter first sent me this Buzzfeed link about a dual Thanksgiving and Hanukkah celebration, I thought it was a joke. Thanksgivukkah? I envisioned Adam Sandler dressed up like a turkey and singing a sequel to his Hanukkah song on Saturday Night Live.

Curious, I clicked on the link and read the article, “How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday Of All Time” and discovered it was no joke: On November 28, 2013 for the first time in our lifetimes, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same day.

Yet I couldn’t help but wonder, how can they call it “the best holiday of all time” if it’s never been celebrated before?  The article included links to a variety of Thanksgivukkah merchandise: posters, T-shirts and other accessories. Call me a cynic, but it sounded to me like Thanksgivukkah was just another way for businesses to make a buck.

I told myself to keep an open mind and continued reading. That’s when my eyes fell upon delicious sounding dishes: potato latkes with cranberry applesauce, challah-apple stuffing and pecan pie rugelach. Just one glance at the mouthwatering recipes for Manischewitz-brined turkey and horseradish-chive mashed potatoes and my skepticism reduced quicker than a brisket red wine sauce on high heat. I could practically smell the wine drenched turkey roasting in the oven.

Buzzfeed had me at cranberry applesauce. The spiced take on traditional cranberry sauce sounded like the perfect topping for both roasted turkey and potato latkes. And how could I pass up sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel?  By the time I scrolled down to pecan pie rugelach I was begging to bake.

If the recipes alone didn’t have me embracing Thanksgivukkah, the DIY decorating ideas did. The menorah turkey or “menurkey” on display was a riot, as was the yarmulkah with the pilgrim-like belt buckle.

But when I got to the comment section I discovered that not everyone was onboard with the idea. You might be familiar with the expression, “Ask two Jews a question, get three opinions.” The phrase speaks to the value Jewish tradition places upon engaging different opinions. So I was surprised but not shocked to see the vast number of comments, 137 and counting, by Jews weighing in on the hybrid holiday.

While most of the reviews were positive and enthusiastic, some readers weren’t so keen on the Thanksgivukkah holiday.

Amanda: “I’m giving you a big fat FAIL on this one. No one wants this combined holiday… it’s like having your birthday on Christmas. I will enjoy my Thanksgiving with turkey and pumpkin pie and the following week will go to my family’s Hanukkah party and get presents and eat latkes. Don’t ruin both holidays, Buzzfeed.”

Erica: “Wow, Amanda…no one is saying you HAVE to do this. I happen to think it’s pretty awesome, and look forward to having my menorah on my Thanksgiving table! So there!”

Change can be difficult, especially when we’re talking about a Thanksgiving tradition people have been celebrating the same way for decades, and in the case of Hanukkah, centuries.

Thanksgivukkah only comes every 70,000 years, and you never know—maybe it will be the best holiday of all time. I intend to find out by celebrating Thanksgiving with a side of Hanukkah this year. The way I see it, it’s the perfect time to stop for a moment and remember to give thanks-a-latke.

Happy Thanksgivukkah!

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70 Responses to “Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Makes Thanksgivukkah!”

  1. Sounds like a Pinterest lovah’s dream!! Have a fabulous time and I was drooling with the recipes too. What time’s dinner? 🙂

    • I know you look adorable in a nurse’s hat, but I can see you in a pilgrim style yarmulke too . . . 😉

  2. paywindow7 at 10:08 am #

    My vote is to keep tradition traditional.
    However, may we keep the wine? On the side maybe?
    Just askin’.

  3. Traci at 4:04 pm #

    I’m a sucker for new recipes around the holidays. As soon as I received my Yankee magazine last week (don’t tell my southern family; it would break their hearts), I was mesmerized by the cookie options.

    • It’s fun to try new recipes, though I’ve learned the hard way not to experiment on guests . . . 😉

  4. Toni at 7:06 pm #

    Well, I am not Jewish, but I would think that something like this only happening once every 70,000 years would be worth celebrating on that fact alone. Lisa, you always put a smile on my face!

  5. G’day! I must admit, I wouldn’t want the combining of both holidays and or traditional holiday foods too!
    I think both holidays merit their own days, remembering and celebration the traditions and fun-filled foods associated with each days remembrance…
    Cheers! Joanne

    • At this rate, I might not have a choice anyhow. My kids have already eaten most of the chocolate Hanukkah coins that I filled our cornucopia with! 😉

  6. Lou at 7:59 pm #

    Can’t wait for the Gallop Poll in 70,000 years to let us know if this or that was the best holiday ever. BURP.

    • LOL Lou! It’s a good thing it occurs in November so that when respondents are randomly selected they have an equal chance of FALLING into the sample.

  7. earthriderjudyberman at 10:13 pm #

    “Thanks-a-latke?” Girl, you are shameless. My view on this is if Thanksgivukkah’s only going to happen once every 70,000 years or so, go for the gusto. The recipes are to die for. Have a happy … and thanks for the chuckles, Lisa.

    • My family would tell you that my every day cooking is to die for, and not in a good way . . . BTW, Judy, on our recent trip to Syracuse we ate at Angotti’s at your recommendation and we loved it! Thanks for the tip!

      • earthriderjudyberman at 7:01 pm #

        Lisa, I’m so glad you liked Angotti’s. It is one of our favorites. 🙂

  8. AnElephantCant at 7:29 am #

    AnElephant does not qualify for either of these (geographically, ethnically, religiously) but thinks it sounds like jolly good fun.
    He wishes you happy holidays!

    • Thank you! That’s what I love about blogging– all the respect for diversity in the blogosphere! 🙂

  9. Paprika Furstenburg at 7:52 am #

    I must admit. I bought Oregano and me t-shirts for Thanksgivukkah. We’re hosting dinner and thought it would be funny to open the door to our guests wearing shirts that say, “Save a Turkey. Eat a Latke” on the front and “Gobble tov” on the back.

    Some of the recipes you mentioned sound great. I’ll have to search for them. But, I draw the line at making a brisket and a turkey on the same day. That’s the beauty of Hanukkah… 8 days gives us plenty of time to enjoy both holidays any way we want to.

    Happy Thanksgivukkah.

    • Your T-shirts sound hilarious! What a fun idea. I’m sure they’ll be quite the conversation piece. If you click on the Buzzfeed link and scroll down to recipes in PDF it will take you to a link with each recipe listed individually. If you make any of them, let me know how they turn out! Happy Thanksgivukkah!

    • funnysister at 10:39 am #

      That shirt idea would be a crowd pleaser – love it!

  10. I suck as a parent at 9:47 am #

    My family is VERY excited about Thanksgivukkah. I, personally, have always loved Thanksgiving because I didn’t have to buy any presents and this is, of course, is what has been missing from the holiday for my kids…until now. I love the recipes – really, why didn’t someone come up with Pecan Pie Rugelach before this?

    • I hadn’t even thought about opening presents on Thanksgiving! That will be so strange! I agree, for me the pecan pie rugelach is its own gift!

  11. Carrie Rubin at 10:55 am #

    “menurkey”—A word that ugly probably SHOULD only be used once every 70,000 years… 😉

  12. Barb Best at 12:43 pm #

    Funny stuff… or should I say stuffing? Cranberry applesause? I’m converting!

  13. honeydidyouseethat? at 7:28 pm #

    I think it’s a great idea. What’s not is the fact that Adam’s song will be in my head tonight before I go to sleep! Thanks! And thanks for dropping by “Honey.”

  14. If this joint holiday works out we may enhance many more holidays with joint celebrations. I’m thinking St. Patrick’s Day might be a blast when coupled with the Fourth of July. Red, white, blue and green would be quite charming.

  15. marlhtv at 9:52 am #

    I may have a new holiday I am going to celebrate! 🙂

  16. funnysister at 10:46 am #

    I had not heard about this! My concern is….how will you celebrate two holidays AND take advantage of all the great shopping deals on that Thursday? Wait, don’t get me started…

  17. daniheart21 at 1:03 pm #

    I’m all for changing things up once in a while. Sounds fun. Good for you. 🙂

  18. DidiPopMusic at 10:54 pm #

    I was so inspired by the Hanukkah/Thanksgiving convergence – I wrote a song about it! . Happy Happy!

  19. christinavl at 9:04 pm #

    I love this! Enjoy and Happy Thanksgivingkuh! We may do the same just to eat those yummy foods!

  20. LuAnn at 1:14 am #

    Now this is a new one on me! You have given me some great recipe ideas for Thanksgiving. 🙂 That cranberry applesauce looks yummy.

  21. bluebutterfliesandme at 10:57 pm #

    “Thanksgivukkah only comes every 70,000 years.”

    Wow that made me lmao!

  22. Grown and Flown at 9:57 am #

    Sounds like an excuse for more food and more wine…all good!

  23. Dawn@lightenup! at 7:09 am #

    My friend was telling me about this. It won’t happen again for like, 67.000 years or something. So relax, Amanda!

  24. LB at 9:54 am #

    I love the comment about more food / more wine! And cranberry applesauce! I had not heard about the two holidays falling on the same day, but am not surprised that there are those who are complaining.
    Ah well … I love THanksgiving … it is my favorite holiday!! Family, Food, Friends, Football and NO GIFTS!!

  25. Professor Taboo at 12:04 pm #

    Lisa, wonderful post! And I love the idea of self-proclaimed human groups including themselves with humanity! 😉

    As you may or may not know, recent Genetic/DNA research & discoveries (i.e. the most basic building blocks of LIFE!) clearly show that there is I think less-than 1% difference between anyone anywhere in the entire world. I give GREAT THANKS & giving to that wonderful inclusive fact!

    Peace for all. 🙂

  26. Amy at 3:17 pm #

    Thank you for sharing the thought and facts, Lisa! Thanksgivukkah only comes every 70,000 years, how special 🙂

  27. earthriderjudyberman at 4:24 pm #

    Lisa, I enjoy your stories about family and I have nominated you for The WordPress Family Award. See my blog for details:

  28. Gallivanta at 12:54 am #

    Sounds like it really could be the best holiday ever!

  29. knitnrun4sanity at 3:21 pm #

    Very interesting – a once in a life time chance to celebrate and experience it. I hope that you find some recipes to include in both festivals in the future.

  30. andy1076 at 12:37 pm #

    Your Adam Sandler reference gave me a good chuckle 😀 the post gave me a lot to think about though!

    Thank you for visiting my blog 🙂

  31. WordsFallFromMyEyes at 5:10 am #

    Wow, this brought a lot of reply!

    I sort of agree it sounds like Christmas on your birthday/vice versa. Though in reality I can’t relate. I think people just want all the cause for celebration & holiday they can get.

    • I can tell you there was a lot of celebrating going on at our house! And my kids weren’t complaining–they got to feast and open a present! 🙂

  32. sherrystanfastanley at 6:40 pm #

    So? How was it?

  33. Kitty at 5:48 am #

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your blog and in depth information you provide.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material.
    Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  34. Duane at 5:43 am #

    This website was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something
    that helped me. Many thanks!

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