Posted in Hanukkah celebrations, holiday parties, holiday season, holidays, humor, Jewish music, music

Happy Chanukah, Hanukkah, Hanukah!

It’s that time again. That time when people ask, “What are you doing for Christmas this year?”

When I worked at a publishing company in Boston, people asked me about my Christmas plans a lot. I said my usual, “I am Jewish, and I celebrate Hanukkah.”

One woman’s response was, “Well, some Jews celebrate Christmas.” She told me this two years in a row.

Having grown up in a Christmas-centered culture, I can tell you that the “holiday” in holiday season does not refer to my holiday. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon with holiday parties, holiday cards, and holiday music. I participated in holiday concerts throughout grade school; I recall the lyrics to nearly every Christmas carol and Christmas-related song over twenty years later. I have forgotten many of the words to the Hanukkah songs I grew up singing with my family. I hum along at Hanukkah sing-alongs.

I celebrate in my own special way. I enjoy going to Hanukkah parties, watching the lighting of menorahs and the flickering of the lights. I also immerse myself in Jewish music. The lively melodies uplift my spirit. This year I loved listening to Shir Soul:

I feel revived when I honor my holiday this way. I feel honored when others observe and acknowledge the passing of my holiday. How refreshing to hear “Happy Hanukkah!” Such words I hold dear to my heart.

How are you celebrating Hanukkah this year?