Ah, yes, Hanukkah. The Festival of Lights. The “Jewish Christmas.” The holiday that Adam Sandler wrote a song about.
To Jewish people, however, Hanukkah isn’t actually all that religious of a holiday –though because of its proximity to Christmas, it’s often assumed the most important Jewish holiday. It’s not. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover, for example, are more religiously observed, though Hanukkah certainly holds cultural significance.
As a child, Hanukkah meant I could get presents just like my predominantly-Christian classmates and not feel left out. It also meant nodding politely (and still doing so) when someone said “Merry Christmas” come mid-to-late December, and trying to remember to say it back.
This year my family and I are figuring out how to celebrate it during the coronavirus pandemic. Hint: We’re doing a family Zoom.