“Pass the cranberry sauce, I need some on my latkes”
This year American Jews are celebrating the very first Thanksgivukkah – the extremely rare convergence of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah – which won’t happen again for another 79,000 years (79,043 to be exact – but whose counting?). The last time these two holidays landed on the same day was way back in 1861 - except President Abraham Lincoln didn’t declare it a national holiday till 1868, so I guess that just doesn’t count.
Typically it’s Christmas and Hanukkah that seem to coincide, and with both revolving around family time and gift-giving they seem to be a pretty good match thematically, but Hanukkah and Thanksgiving are an even more perfect fit. Not only due to the fact that they both celebrate religious liberty, but also that both Holidays are extremely food centric.
Leading us onto the next major issue – food. Sweet potato latkes? Challah stuffed Turkey? The bizarre combinations continue with Zucker Bakery in East Village creating a rather special turkey-stuffed doughnut for this once a life-time occurrence.
Dana Gitell is credited with creating the Thanksgivukkah social hype, including a large Facebook and Twitter following. Since last Fall when people began to realize that this cultural phenomenon would come about, the holiday memorabilia has exploded, offering everything from apparel, original songs and even a Youtube video of a rap battle between a turkey and a dreidle (yeah this you need to see click here).
So we face the question of what gifts to buy on this most unusual of holidays, especially with the added pressure of it not occurring again for another 79,043 years. Here are a couple of absolute must haves that no Thanksgivukkah table should be without.
Created by 9-year old Asher Weintraub of New York this is a fail safe gift, guaranteed to put a smile on even the hardest to impress Bubbe's. Well who wouldn't love a turkey shaped menorah?
And of course there is the once in a lifetime opportunity to actually send/receive a Thanksgivukkah greetings card. These Americana-themed note cards are a great way to share the holiday cheer.
So it’s inevitable that most of us watch the game post dinner and have a drink or two. Forget your traditional largers, this should be on the top of your list for the holiday. Plus get a load of that name, how could you resist?
For the chef inside of us all, this special day should be matched with an extra special apron.
Donuts have always been a big player in the Hanukkah desert set-up, have them with your Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie and Apple Pie for the perfect buffet addition.
As a British Jew spending the holidays in New York this year I am super excited to celebrate two of the most delicious holidays in one and even see a giant spinning dreidel float in this years Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Here’s to giving thanks to this unusual, yet perfect convergence.