Sunday, November 18, 2007


Christmas is just over a month away and that can mean only one thing -- Hanukkah is lurking somewhere.

Why can't they make it easy for us? Why can't Hanukkah be the same time every year? Christmas is the same day every year. That's one of the many things it has going for it. People, especially kids, know exactly when it arrives. What do kids like? Their birthday, Christmas, Halloween. What do they all have in common? They come the same time year after year. I'm convinced that's why the Easter Bunny hasn't had more success. No one is sure year to year when he'll arrive -- that and the fact that he's the poor man's Santa Claus.

But Hanukkah already has so much going against it:

1. People think it's the Jewish Christmas. Actually, it's the Jewish lame Holiday. Oooo, the story of the Maccabees. Oil lasting eight nights. Pinch me.

2. Jewish kids get a toy every night for eight nights. While Jewish kids do indeed get a gift every night, what your parents don't tell you is you will get a lame toy every night for eight nights. An orange, a scarf, a toothbrush.

3. It's always been a dark holiday for me. I didn't matter how big our menorah was, it seemed mighty dim compared to the light show put on every year by our neighbors, the Begonski's. A 10-foot tree, Frosty the Snowman, Santa, Reindeer, Elves and the Manger scene. I always wanted them to have three Frosty's as the Wisemen. One year my brother and I snuck over in the middle of the night and placed Frosty in the Manger. My mother didn't think it was funny and took away one of our eight presents.

4. Nobody knows when it will arrive each year! What are they thinking? I imagine the people responsible are two ancient Jews (I think they go to our synagogue in Bay Ridge).

Ancient Jew #1: Alright, alright, when are we going to have Hanukkah this year?
Ancient Jew #2: How about Dec 3rd?
Ancient Jew #1: I have a doctor's appointment that day. What about the 4th?
Ancient Jew #2: I'm seeing my doctor that day.
Ancient Jew #1: Anything serious?
Ancient Jew #2: A colonoscopy.
Ancient Jew #1: Oy, I had one last year. Not fun. I don't like anything going the wrong way on that one way street. You'll be fine.
Ancient Jew #2: How about the 5th?
Ancient Jew #1: You'll want some more time after you colonoscopy. How about the 7th?
Ancient Jew #2: That's the Goldberg Bar Mitzvah.

Long pause.

Ancient Jew #1: You were invited?
Ancient Jew #2" Yeah. Weren't you?

Long pause.

Ancient Jew #1: He's dead to me.
Ancient Jew #2: Who?
Ancient Jew #1: Goldberg.
Ancient Jew #2: He didn't invite you?
Ancient Jew #1: I don't know who you're talking about.
Ancient Jew #2: Goldberg.
Ancient Jew #1: Dead to me.
Ancient Jew #2: I can't believe he didn't -
Ancient Jew #1: Dead to me! The 7th it is.
Ancient Jew #2: But that's -
Ancient Jew #1: Pearl Harbor, Hanukkah and a dead man's kid's Bar Mitzvah!
Ancient Jew #2: Okay. I'll talk to you later.

Ancient Jew #2 leaves.
Ancient Jew #1 picks up the phone.

Ancient Jew #1: Hello, this is Ancient Jew #2. I need to change my colonoscopy. The 7th.

So it's 37 more days until Christmas and god knows how many days until Hanukkah. I may have missed it for all I know.

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