Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah at our house. Now, if you are not Jewish, you’re probably about to yell “Happy Hanukkah!” and run to write on all your Jewish friends’ facebook walls.
It is not Hanukkah. While it’s true that some years Hanukkah falls around now and in fact Hanukkah changes its date on the Western calendar every single year, it is not Hanukkah this year until December 20. Yep, 6 days from now.
But at our house, it’s Hanukkah. We have a lot of plans that will interrupt Hanukkah itself and make it difficult to celebrate when it is. The plans include visiting my in-laws. The idea of traveling with a menorah and candles and millions of presents, some of which would make our car trip seem shorter, turned me off so much that we are starting Hanukkah early here.
Or whenever we want, which is today.
It makes me a bad Jew, but a practical mom/traveler. Dealing with all those presents and candles and singing and a menorah and a long car ride and…
We will still overlap Hanukkah by 2 days and the girls will get all 8 nights of cultural goodness, if only on a different time schedule than other Jews this particular year. If it were different year, Hanukkah might have ended already! One recent year (too lazy to look it up) it started something like December 4.
I know that Jewish holidays follow the Jewish calendar and there’s a religious significance to when they fall, but our holidays seem really random by the Western calendar. It seems like Hanukkah already falls whenever THEY want (or whenevertheywannukkah). This year we’re just taking the power into our own hands and making it when WE want it/need it. It’s no different than meeting family members you couldn’t see on a holiday and celebrating the holiday later. Or earlier.
Let the Wheneveryouwannukah celebration begin!