With dreidels, candles, and gelt, what's not to love about Hanukkah?
While kids look forward to these festive eight days every year, some are known to experience a tad of envy toward that other December holiday. With its magical tree and glowing lights (let's not even talk about the VERY generous, jolly old man), it's not surprising that some Jewish children feel a tad of Christmas angst every now and again. But with new, modern traditions, many families are reclaiming their menorah pride and infusing a festive feel into their Hanukkah celebrations.
With Mensch on the Bench as an answer to Elf on the Shelf, ugly Hanukkah sweaters, holiday cards, and even Hanukkah bushes instead of Christmas trees, it might feel like Hanukkah and Christmas are constantly competing. Instead, these crossover traditions are developing with today's culture and are a source of more inclusive fun for all involved. While some are hesitant to partake in Christmas products remade for Hanukkah, many Jewish families are embracing them as festive ways to get kids excited about the holidays.
When it comes to exploring all of these fun, new Hanukkah products and traditions, Rabbi Evan Moffic of Congregation Solel in Chicago asks, "Why not? Embrace the larger culture." So feel free to spin your dreidel, stuff your stockings, and celebrate the holidays however you please!