Add new comment

The answer to the so-called December dilemma is not to build up Hanukah to parallel Christmas, for--as you have pointed out--it can never measure up to Christmas' grandeur.  Our parents were in error to do this for us and we would be in error to do this for our children.  Agrandizing Hanukah into a "Jewish Christmas" only serves to emphasize that which is seemingly lacking in Hanukah.  The answer to "December dilemma" is instead to fully celebrate the other more meaningful yet less observed holidays throughout the Jewish year.  When your children camp out in a hut on Sukkot, dance with scroll and flags on Simhat Torah, masquerade and listen to the melodrama on Purim, engage in a symposium on freedom and responsibility on Passover, and become a link in the chain of scholarship throughout the night of Shavuot then they will look upon Christmas as a quaint expression of American consumerism.  Jews, atterall, set out a feast to rival Christmas every week: we call it Shabbat.  Observe these things and there is no December dilemma.

An unfortunate result of our parents' mistake is that the Hanukah/Christmas comparison is now out of our hands.  Hanukah is now promoted in the mass media as the "Jewish Christmas".  As Jews, we need to fight back against this forced assimilation as the Maccabees fought the forced assimilation of the Helenists by advocating against the so-called "War on Christmas". Say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays", do not stand for menorahs or dreidels alongside Christmas trees, and make sure that your office has a "Christmas party" instead of a "Holiday party".  Embracing Christmas is--ironically--the best solution to the December dilemma.