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  • 26Dec

    Growing up, my least favorite holiday was Chanukah. The first reason was that you were supposed to light candles on the menorah. For most, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but my mother is scared of fire, and my dad worked far away. Since Chanukah is eight days of playing with fire, it always would end with a fight to get my dad home to light the menorah. In fact, during one dramatic year, our menorah was set up too close to our cabinets, that they charred the brown cabinets black! The fire department, who was a family friend because of my mom’s habit of burning food, decided that they would come the following nights to ensure that the Jews don’t burn down the city. At the time however, I thought they wanted to embrace and join in our Jewish traditions. The following year, my family got my mother an electric menorah.

    However, my menorah issues aren’t the real reason I grew up disliking the most famous Jewish holiday. When I was little, my parents would take away a night of Chanukah every time I was bad. So by the time March rolled around, I was at a grand total of zero presents for that year. When everyone was getting their Chanukah or Christmas presents, I was sitting on the naughty side of Hanukah-Harry’s list. But now that I am older, I realize the holiday isn’t all about presents. I feel like it is just Jewish people trying not to have their kids feel bad around Christmas.
    Anyways, it was hard growing up in an entirely Christian neighborhood. We were the only house on the block without Christmas lights. My father could never understand that concept, since Chanukah is supposed to be the Festival of Lights, yet somehow it’s the Christians who hang the lights outside their house. I think that as Jewish people, we should take our Festival of Lights back, and be the ones with cool lights.

    Now that I decided to be shomer shabbas, on holidays we are trapped in the house for extremely long hours with either too many people, or all alone without anyone nearby. Chanukah is now my favorite holiday because you can actually use electricity and are not trapped in a house. You can drive to your friends instead of walking in the cold, and can leave when you want to because you have a car. It’s a Chanukah miracle!

    Lessons Learnt:
    1. Electric menorahs save kitchen cabinets
    2. We should try and reclaim the festival of lights so we can put up cool decorations
    3. Chanucka is actually one of the best holidays because you can actually be with all your family for the perfect amount of time because you can drive away at any point.

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