From the glut of Thanksgivukkah swag and kitsch out there, you’d think Thanksgiving and Hanukkah have never overlapped before or will never overlap again. And that would be correct — at least not for another 70,000 years.
That’s right, on November 28, the Festival of Lights and the Festival of, well, Thanks, is converging, spawning anything and everything from turkey-stuffed donuts to a plethora of cross-holiday menorahs.
The Colbert Report has righteously rejected it, the Associated Press has conscientiously covered it, and Jewish news agencies, including this one, are having a field day, writing about anything from Menurkey kickstarter campaigns to mock horror films depicting Eight Days of Hell.
Though we are sure to be inundated with more hybrid holiday hoopla between now and the blessed event, we bring you in the meantime, a modest round-up.
What to watch:
Remember that cool Cups Song/Adon Olam mashup from Chicago-based Jewish a cappella group Listen Up!? Well, for Thanksgivukkah they’ve dropped the pop and are giving us a harmonious classical combo of “Hava Narima,” a Hanukkah song based on the 18th century Handel oratorio “Judas Maccabeus,” and the 19th century Shaker dance song, “Simple Gifts” by Elder Joseph Brackett.
“The video features our “simple gift” of sharing our love of music — and our gratitude for living with our families — as Jews in America,” says group member Steve Singer.
Radio personalities at Dish Nation have come up with a catchy ditty that is at once a parody and a heartfelt tribute to the double-holiday.
Get down with “Oils – A Thanksgivukkah Miracle,” a parody of teenage New Zealander Lorde’s chart topper, “Royals.” We predict this one will go viral.
And then there’s this Thanksgivukkah rap battle parody that won a contest sponsored by Manischewitz.
What to wear:
The folks over at Jewnion Label have come up with a nifty logo showing a latke-filled cornucopia, with a potato grader alongside. “Give thanks. Be grateful,” it says. According to co-owner Stacey Ravel Abarbanel, it’s the company’s most popular logo yet.
Modern Tribe has the best selection around of Thanksgivukkah t-shirts (and posters, greeting cards, and paper tableware). Our fave is the “American Gothikkah” design by artist Kim DeMarco, a clever riff on the iconic Grant Wood painting that turns the woman in to a pilgrim and the man in to a shtreimel-wearing Hasid holding a menorah.
What to light:
We hope it’s not too late to score a Menurkey (that’s a turkey-shaped menorah), which, as we reported back in August, is the brainchild of 9-year-old Asher Weintraub from New York.
Where to celebrate:
There are going to be public events all around the US to mark Thanksgivukkah, but probably the hippest among us will surely be going to be the Thanksgivukkah Festival at the Pico Union in Los Angeles on November 29. Headliners will include the Moshav Band and Kosha Dillz.
Celebrate Jew in the City’s Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All-Stars, like US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann at a pre-Thanksgivukkah red carpet event in Midtown Manhattan on November 24.
How to keep the kids busy:
Let the kids decorate the pumpkin pie with chocolate gelt or paper pilgrim hats with the Star of David.
Or break out the crayons and markers and have them color some Thanksgivukkah coloring pages instead of the walls.
Better yet, teach your kids to incorporate rituals of giving into their celebration of Hanukkah with these great philanthropic education tips.
What to eat:
We saved the best for last. Culinary creativity is rampant as we approach Thanksgivukkah. Some of this stuff is a bit far out there, but there is sure to be something for everyone’s taste among these festive, fanciful foods.
What’s the most obvious filling for sufganiyot (Hanukkah donuts) this year? Pumpkin pie, of course.
And for the more adventurous, there’s turkey-stuffed sufganiyot.
Too wild for you? Then try some ones made with sweet potato dough and stuffed with marshmallow.
But why stuff a sufganiyah, when you can make sufganiyah stuffing…with bacon, to boot?!
Prefer to bake your dough rather than fry it? Then, learn to make some pumpkin knishes… in Yiddish (don’t worry, there’s English translation). Want to know how to say “Thanksgivukkah” in Yiddish? — “Channudank.”
Go all out and impress your guests with a menu including latkes with cranberry applesauce, a Manischewitz-brined turkey, sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, roasted Brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled red onion, challah-apple stuffing, horseradish-chive mashed potatoes, rye pumpkin pied, and pecan pie rugelach.
And for those who have had enough Thanksgivukkah to last them 70,000 years and pine for the traditional December Dilemma, here’s some new Chrismukkah merch out this year.
No Jew need ever again look on with envy at The Elf on a Shelf, when there’s now The Mensch on the Bench. The little bearded mensch supposedly sat on a bench all night long in the Temple, staying up to warn the Maccabees and others if the oil ran out.
And forget that old Hanukkah bush: Put up a Menorah Tree this year instead.