Hanukkah for the Intermarried, Secular, and Lazy

1) Fret for weeks that your inter-faith children know virtually nothing about either of the faith you purport that they belong to.

2) Resolve to really - really - celebrate Hanukkah this year.

3) Realize that Hanukkah comes early this year. Curse loudly.

4) Get asked to teach all the nice Gentile children at school about Hanukkah.

5) Read Hanukkah colouring books, source 60 dreidels from your slightly less secular mother, and buy chocolate loonies at bulk barn in anticipation.

6) Show up at school, stand in front of 60 trusting children and tell them the story of Hanukkah. Hope you are not lying.

7) Ask for questions. Throw dreidels and chocolate money at children in an effort to distract them from your fumbling, probably true answers.

8) Bring your own children up to the front to sing Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah to prove that you have indeed taught them something. Do not tell the crowd that your children think Chanukkah, Oh Chanukkah is the prayer you sing as you light the candles on the menorah.

9) Accept thanks and applause for your awesome, probably all true presentation.

10) Forget about Hanukkah for the rest of the week.

11) Realize on Friday that Hanukkah starts on Saturday. Curse loudly.

12) Commit to buying potatoes for latkes, jelly for donuts and maybe even a present or two for the kids, since you told them, with 60 witnesses, that they get a gift on Hanukkah.

13) Make another coffee, check twitter. Start this blog post.

14) Decide you will still buy the potatoes and gifts, but will just head to Tim Horton’s for the jelly donuts.

15) Get distracted by this and this and this.

16) Decide that you are the only one that actually likes latkes anyway, and you are cutting back on carbs, so no need to go to all that trouble.

17) Realize the bank account is looking a little sad right now, prezzies will indeed be small. More of a token, really.

18) Feel guilty. Latkes back on.

19) Realize that we said yes to attending a local Santa Claus parade on Saturday, the first day of Hanukkah.

20) Feel guilty. Decide that Hanukkah present must be more significant because in the face of a fat jolly guy who (along with my in-laws) give my children every little thing their hearts desire, I cannot compete.

21) Decide, screw that. Will not add more commercialism to a holiday that truly does not have anything to do with gift giving besides a desire to compete with a more spectacular holiday that happens around the same time.

22) Reflect on what having inter-faith children actually means. Santa Claus parade on. Latkes on. Prayers while lighting the menorah on; will have to try and remember them. Thank the universe for the internet.

23) Get email from MIL stating that she has successfully acquired American Girl twin boys to go with the American Girl twin girls they got my kids a few years ago for xmas.

24) [See item 20]. Look into renting a Hanukkah Armadillo costume.

25) Ask the cat for advice. Cat yawns and goes back to grooming her nether regions. Decide cat must be a Libertarian agnostic.

26) Finish coffee. Take out menorah, candles, Hanukkah colouring books and Hanukkah music CD.

27) Reserve dreidels and chocolate loonies. Will need for throwing at kids if they start asking the hard questions.

28) Feel better about preparations. Thank the universe that sending Hanukkah cards is not a “thing.”

29) Decide that being inter-faith means making our own rules when it comes to holidays.

30) Begin preparations for next year’s holidays, which will be called, Avoidakkah, and include going somewhere tropical. We will plan to return on December 27.

Merry Avoidakkah, everybody!  



  1. Karen, when I read your posts I always expect intelligent, thoughtful, thought provoking. I didn't expect to spit laugh. This was awesome.

    "Hope you are not lying." was priceless.

  2. NICE! Can we join you?
    Have you considered telling your girls the dolls are for Haunakkah? I live by step #29

  3. I laughed all the way through this. You're still a few steps ahead of me.

  4. I had to laugh at the Merry Avoidakkah! I can so relate ... even though I'm not Jewish, I go through the majority of your thoughts on a daily basis at this time of year. I should do more baking, I should have all my presents wrapped and bought by now. On and on it goes. I love doing some of the things, but some? Ugh!

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  6. Loved this post, Karen! Love from a Jewish Mother !

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    2. Thank you! Happy Hanukkah!

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  9. I laughed and laughed. Jewish father. Catholic mother at our house. Tried to do Hanukkah for the first time with our two kids. Didn't always remember to light the Menorah and when we did the kids immediately wanted to blow out the candles. Better luck next year.


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