National News

November 28, 2013

Overlap with Thanksgiving prompts second look at Hanukkah

WASHINGTON — For most American Jews, the Hanukkah script has been pretty clear for decades: Light candles in menorahs, make potato pancakes (called latkes), play a game with a spinning top, called a dreidel, sing songs, give presents and call it a night (or eight, in this case).

Then came the menurkey of 2013. And greetings cards of pilgrims wearing the long, curly sideburns of the Orthodox. And debates about whether cranberry sauce goes with latkes.

Witness the messy process of holiday-creating, and on a lightning-fast scale. That's because of the extremely rare overlap Thursday of Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah, which usually falls well into December. Some calendric experts say the event many are calling Thanksgivukkah happens once a century; others say it won't happen for thousands more years.

The merger of two largely happy, fun holidays has triggered a rush of kitschy marketing, including the sale of thousands of ceramic, turkey-shaped menorahs called menurkeys. It has also prompted a flood of new recipes and debate on food blogs about how to appropriately mess with two holiday menus that for many are cherished just as they are, thank you.

But it has also triggered a more deliberate look for many American Jews at a holiday that's not been considered particularly important.

"I'm agonizing over whether to get a serious or silly Hanukkah card — and I never even buy Hanukkah cards!" said Sara Finer, 32, a lawyer from Rockville, Md. who on Monday was in a CVS card aisle in downtown Washington.

Finer was buying a card to go with a gift for an in-law's cousin whom she normally wouldn't see on Hanukkah, but for the fact that it's falling when the family gathers for Thanksgiving. Because some people coming to dinner won't be Jewish, Finer said she's paying more attention to how she will explain Hanukkah. "I was literally Googling it at work."

Text Only
National News
  • Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

    Airline executives frequently complain about fuel costs. But the truth is higher prices actually have been good for business.

    April 17, 2014

  • Armed robber was never told to report to prison

    After he was convicted of armed robbery in 2000, Cornealious Anderson was sentenced to 13 years behind bars and told to await instructions on when and where to report to prison. But those instructions never came.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hot models at this year’s New York Auto Show

    With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the U.S. auto industry. Here are some of the vehicles debuting this year. The show opens to the public Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Thursday

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:

    April 17, 2014

  • Players protest rehiring of fired Minnesota coach

    The University of Minnesota-Mankato football team Wednesday boycotted the fired head coach who won his job back in an arbitrator's ruling last week, nearly two years after fighting accusations of child pornography and other misconduct.

    April 16, 2014

  • A year after background check defeat, modest goals

    Democratic worries about this November’s elections, a lack of Senate votes and House opposition are forcing congressional gun-control supporters to significantly winnow their 2014 agenda, a year after lawmakers scuttled President Barack Obama’s effort to pass new curbs on firearms.

    April 16, 2014

  • Dress codes: Where should schools set limits?

    They’re called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others.

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today.

    April 16, 2014

  • Police: Suspected killers wore GPS devices

    Two convicted sex offenders dutifully checked in with police every month and wore their GPS trackers around the clock — the rules of parole that are designed to tip off authorities if a freed felon backslides.

    April 15, 2014