Why?

Why do we need these? I remember seeing green and red ones in the stores for Xmas – we need Chanukah Crackers that have stupid prizes in them now? Why?

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  1. shorty says:

    So that being Jewish is almost like not being Jewish so it’s ok. ???

  2. Rainy says:

    I don’t get it.

    Even to me, here stuck in the middle of my transitioning process from intermarried to fully observant BT, crackers are clearly for Christmas. Not only that, but they aren’t even American Christmas, they’re British. So why would American Jews want crackers? Even I am baffled. From everything I’ve been told, this whole treating Chanukkah like the Jewish Christmas is kind of… not really what it is supposed to be all about.

  3. Frume Sarah says:

    It’s like the dreidl lights. Really, now.

    Would I be correct in my assumption that many of these trappings are more prevelent in the non-Orthodox homes? Or is that a misguided generalization??

    • hadassahsabo says:

      well, i have never seen them in orthodox homes…and most Orthos I know wouldn’t even think of buying them.

      • Frume Sarah says:

        Just as I wouldn’t want anyone to make an assumption/generalization about Reform or liberal homes, I didn’t want to be incorrect about more observant homes.

  4. batya from NJ says:

    FrumeS- i would tend to agree with you. i believe that these Xmas-wannabe “chanukah” items are either for Jews who feel the need to compete with non-Jews (eg “you think that you’re so great that you have Xmas crackers, well we’re no different than you b/c we have chanukah crackers just like you, ha” :)!

    • Frume Sarah says:

      I once saw a Jewish parenting manual from the 1950′s that instructed parents to make a tremendously big deal about Chanukah so that their poor little Jewish kids wouldn’t feel left out!

  5. Um, i celebrate christmas but I have no idea what those are. (I guess it’s a british thing?) Do they explode toys at you or something?

    I would totally like to have a dreidel ornament for my mini christmas tree this year though, I’m going to have a tree anyway, so why not have some stuff from my heritage on it? (our other ornament so far is one that looks like our dog). I think some of those christmas wannabe jewish items are aimed at people like me, who celebrate christmas and not chanukah, but want to acknowledge that we are jewish too.

    • Rainy says:

      they’re British. Inside there is some confetti, a very cheap plastic toy and a paper crown. It is traditional to place beside each plate at Christmas dinner, then you pop them and wear the crowns. Even adults like them, though I think they’re more for the kids.

    • batya from NJ says:

      AE, it’s interesting that you wrote what you did about buying those kinda items as ornaments b/c my original thought when i saw those items were that they may also be geared for intermarried couples who wanted to try & combine Christian & Jewish cultures (even though i didn’t include that in my comment above)….

      • MeiraD says:

        That’s an interesting take–that ppl are trying to combine holiday practices. I never thought of that.

        • Z! says:

          Have we all fogotten CHRISMIKAH, people!

          Chanukah is the MOST commercialized “Jewish holiday” EVER! It is not a Torah holy day, and it lands so close to a christian holiday that it has become the “Jewish Christmas”.

          Let’s not forget the origins of Christmas shall we; not the story of the ‘savior’s birth’, but the winter equinox and pagan traditions. The Romans tried really hard to convert the pagans, and in so doing adopted all the pagan traditions and many other religion’s traditions over the years to make the masses perform the rituals.

          Does it not seem like a coincidence to anyone else that the Christians are obsessed with lights at this time of the year?

          • YC says:

            It is not a coincidence that we too celebrate a holiday of lights during the darkest part of the year.

            The only unique mitzvah of this holiday is indeed lighting lights.

            While I recomend all the shiurim, I am talking about Part Two of the Chanuka shiur, relating to the connection between Chanuka and the winter solstice.

            http://tanach.org/chanuk.htm#shiur11

    • Lady Lock and Load says:

      I thought abandoning eden was athiest?

  6. MeiraD says:

    I think Jews that have “Christmas envy” would buy those. And Jews who aren’t that familiar with our own traditions–we have shabbat every week. You can’t top that.

    I think the frenzy that gets created every year (earlier and earlier) for Christmas is hard to resist for some people. As someone who used to be in that camp, I don’t miss it AT ALL. Not getting into the Xmas frenzy is a reason to convert all by itself. :)

    I have known many Jews who feel that they need to create something that matches Xmas because their kids are so bombarded with it on tv or at school (non-religious school). Some Jews have asked me “don’t you miss having a tree with all the lights?” NO–I never liked having a tree, it seems like a huge waste of a tree. They are fussed over, decorated, then gifts are opened and next thing you know, the naked tree is at the curb waiting for the garbage truck. Kinda sucks all the magic out of the tree idea for me.

    • Frume Sarah says:

      I completely agree.

      I also believe that the level of one’s “tree-envy” is often in direct proportion with the involvement in Jewish traditions. A kid whose family builds a Sukkah (and sleeps in it!), makes Mishloach Manot and goes all out for Purim, searches for chametz, does blintzes for Shavuot, etc. will have far less reason to cling to the Christmas-like trappings of Chanukah.

      We downplay the Chanukah gifts to the best of our ability while making a much bigger deal about the menorah and dreidel and food.

  7. batya from NJ says:

    i thought of this post when i was at pathmark today & saw a chanukah garland (which is like a wreath i guess…) for sale. this would be another example of these Xmas wannabe chanukah items that most likely appeal to some folks but not to me.

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