It’s here. The day the American-Jewish population has been waiting for. When the first day of Chanukah (or Hanukkah) and Thanksgiving fall on the same day, creating a holiday extravaganza that will stand the test of time. All right, maybe we should lower expectations, but that doesn’t hide the fact that this holiday mash-up will most certainly cause some panic to those celebrating. I know that within my own family, we’re already running into a few squabbles concerning how to satisfy all of our holiday traditions. Here is a guide to help you survive the crazy, extraordinary, and most likely once-in-a-lifetime Thanksgivukkah – unless you’re still alive in 2070.
To combine or not to combine – that is the question. If the holidays are all about traditions, than I declare we stick to our traditions. We wait 365 days for the most glorious meal in American history, so we shall feast on that magnificent meal. Your Thanksgiving dinner should consist of the staples (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc.) but I believe that it’s acceptable to add a few parts of a traditional Hanukkah meal. Prepare them as you normally would: don’t try sweet potato latkes. Don’t replace your Thanksgiving turkey with your grandmother’s famous brisket. Don’t swap the pumpkin pie for fried donuts. Rather, add your favorite Hanukkah dishes to the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Maybe try some gravy on your latkes or some applesauce with your mashed potatoes – ok, on second thought, don’t try the latter.
Unlike mealtime, I think it’s more than appropriate to combine themes here. Turkey-shaped menorahs or Star of David’s, Hannukah gelt and dreidels inside a Cornucopia are just a few ideas. I dare you to mix color schemes. Maybe lay out a burnt-orange tablecloth and top it with blue placemats and silver napkins, or use autumn-colored Hanukkah candles…the possibilities are endless! A tasty centerpiece is what people are calling a “Challurkey” – a challah shaped like turkey. Hopefully my challah-baking uncle will take on this challenge.
Continue on with your traditions, but feel free maybe throw in a few curveballs. In the end, Thanksgivukkah is just a great opportunity to spend time with your family and friends. This crazy clash of holidays may cause you some stress, but hopefully these suggestions can guide your holiday preparations in the right direction.
If you’re celebrating Thanksgivukkah this year, share your mealtime and decorating ideas in the comments section below!
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