So, Hanukkah is here again, yaaaaaaaay -_-. What most folks don't realize is that Hanukkah isn't actually a big deal for Jews at all. Sure, latkes, dreidels, presents every day, wheveter sounds liek great fun, but the holiday actually isn't a big deal at all.
Hanukkah is basically about a battle in Greece, a couple thousand years ago, in which the Jews got away free and regained Jerusalem. Yay. It was probably really exciting at the time, but if it weren't for Christmas now, people would probably not celebrate nearly as much as they do now in America.
Lighting up oil instead of candles is the most proper and correct way to celebrate the victory of our Jews past, but here in America, the holiday is so Christmas-fied that we even forget the meaning.
Even people who sincerely try to make sense of Hanukkah admit that the whole thing isn't nearly as exciting as the whole Santa Claus shindig. The most emailed story on the New York Times website Sunday was a commentary, “The True Meaning of Hanukkah” by Hilary Leila Krieger, Washington bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post. She begins by recounting the dreary obligation of standing up in elementary school to explain the whole thing to your Christian classmates — the dreaded “This is a dreidel, this is a menorah” speech.
So, if you want to keep spending money on your kids and really go through the angst of keeping up with the Santa believers, go ahead. But us real Jews will skip all the BS and watch the oil burn for a few days, relishing in victory of ancestors past.