A father talks back – “Hanukkah has gotten too commercial”

Editor’s note: This is Robert Siegel’s response to his son’s Hanukkah rant.

By Blogger Robert Siegel

I read Jonah’s Hanukkah blog post and smiled. What struck me was how differently the same set of facts can be read by kids and adults. The thing that bothered me about holding everyone’s presents till the evening of Dec. 24 was (of course) the Christmas symbolism—the very idea that we would try to keep in sync with the Christmas calendar.

But what bothered Jonah about waiting till the 24th was simply waiting, the agonizing delay in getting his presents. And that put me in mind of how materialistic Hanukkah has gotten, as Jewish parents try to counterbalance the commercial hooplah surrounding Christmas.

Karen and I have written about this before (for the excellent Jewish web magazine, Tablet)—how we too got swept up in the competitive buying, trying to outdo the Christmas frenzy: http://www.tabletmag.com/life-and-religion/21788/the-light-the-sword-and-the-nintendo-ds/#comments.

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