The upcoming holiday season is another very special one. Not only because kids 5-11 are finally able to get vaccinated against COVID, but because Hanukkah comes early this year — so early, in fact, that it shares a holiday weekend with Thanksgiving. Which means, yes, we are basically getting another Thanksgivukkah extravaganza this year.
The last official Thanksgivukkah — when the first night of Hanukkah coincided with Thanksgiving on November 28 — was eight years ago in 2013. You may have fond memories of stuffing your face with turkey and then lighting the Hanukkah candles. In my family, the holiday was actually a combination of the two holidays and my mom and sister’s birthday (aka Birthgivukkah).
While it’s not quite the same this year, with Hanukkah starting a few days after Thanksgiving on the evening of Sunday, November 28, we can still get into the holiday mash-up spirit.
Especially after the challenges the pandemic has brought us, we are certainly looking for ways to make both holidays extra fun for our families. These recipes and ideas will bring elements of both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving to all eight nights, a perfect hack for the best crossover holiday yet.
Before Hanukkah even begins, you can get into the thankful spirit by prepping a turkey-shaped challah on Friday with your family. The elaborate shape is actually easier than it looks, it just could use a few extra hands (or feathers).
With Thanksgiving typically comes lots of leftovers, and this delicious recipe will help you use them up to make a Jewish classic. If you’ve got mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce laying around, you’re just a few steps away from a Hanukkah party knish.
Why not combine the ingredients of Thanksgiving’s sweet potato casserole to make sweet delicious latkes? This recipe is such a perfect way to combine the flavors of the two holidays — and it’s sure to be a fan favorite!
Why have chocolate in one shape when you can have it in two? In addition to the gelt, or chocolate coins, that are a staple during Hanukkah, add some chocolate turkeys to the mix. You know, for the kids.
This one is for the cranberry fanatics (guilty)! Put those extra cranberries to good use with this recipe for jelly doughnuts, a fun twist on the Hanukkah sufganiyot.
This amazing bourbon pecan and chocolate Gelt pie is a great way to bring Hanukkah into your Thursday celebrations. Using Hanukkah gelt in conventional pecan pie, it’s the perfect dessert that is sure not to last eight nights.
7. Read “Molly’s Pilgrim”
Yes, all these ideas have been about food, because yes, food is the most important part of any holiday celebration. But if you’re looking for something to do in between meals, “Molly’s Pilgrim” could be a great book to read with the kids. In this historical children’s book, a Russian Jewish immigrant girl learns about Thanksgiving during her first year in New York.
Last but not least, Jewish sometimes-“Jeopardy!”-host Mayim Bialik offered some great Thanksgivukkah ideas back in 2013. Her menu included everything from apple cider to pumpkin squash kreplach. While this menu is a much more elaborate version of what we will be making this year, we are ever grateful for the inspo, Mayim!