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Jewish Journal

Chanukah Bah Humbug

by Mihal Levy

November 30, 2010 | 6:14 pm

I’m not a fan of this time of year.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my father died eleven years ago during this time.  While latkes were frying and sleigh bells were ringing, there were no falalalalas for my family.  We were busy prepping for my father’s funeral.

Frankly, the in-your-face merchandising, Black Fridays, Cyber Mondays and Taco Tuesdays (there has got to be a Taco Tuesday at some bar’s happy hour, right?) are a bit too much.  They have taken away from what the holidays really mean: family

drama

get togethers.  (I would take Taco Tuesday over family drama any day and would probably chase it with a margarita as well.  And I don’t drink, so that should tell you something.  But I digress…)

I have also noticed this year that when I actually try to be festive, I can’t.  It is not all my doing.  I have searched all over Los Angeles for Chanukah decorations and voila…nothing.  No sign of Chanukah anywhere?  Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me?  It seems a tad bit scarce this year.  Michael’s Crafts And Hobbies did not have one Chanukah item/craft.  The same with Toys “R” Us.  Not even Chanukah wrapping paper for the Legos I bought my son.  I find it a little odd and disturbing.  I was born and raised here all my life and always found some knick knack or Ode to Chanukah with at least a “Happy Holidays” written in red and green (with a cross above the “happy”) on network television.  And now, nothing.  Did anyone realize that Chanukah is here, while there are about twenty-three more days until Christmas?  Has Mel Gibson left Hollywood to head up holiday merchandising?

How can we all be merry when the makeshift Chanukah decorations I did find were located behind the aisles of Christmas décor?  I saw blue and silver paper plates with Jewish stars on them that frankly were more appropriate for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah than Chanukah.  I have to hand it to Bed Bath and Beyond for actually having a Chanukah section out in front (at least in my area).  (They were obviously not afraid of the wrath of Mel Gibson.)  They tried.  Although along with menorahs and dreidels, they did include Passover Seder plates and a “matzah man” musical stuffed doll.  (I still appreciate the effort and may have to have a piece of matzah on Chanukah in their honor.)

It is not only Chanukah that has been ignored; what happened to Kwanzaa?  I used to see plenty of items for Kwanzaa as well.  Were Chanukah and Kwanzaa simply cancelled this year?  I will check my calendar to see if they are even happening this year.  Maybe not.  That would explain the Chanukah Boycott in the city of L.A.

There, I vented.  I feel much better now.  Well, not really.  I will just decorate my home with blue and silver tinsel and string popcorn around my birthday candle-filled menorah.

Let the family

drama

festivities begin, with or without decorations.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Mihal Levy used to collect degrees as a hobby.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees, she worked as a psychotherapist and research scientist before continuing her hobby of...

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