Another holiday season is upon us, with Hanukkah starting bright and early this year — December 2, to be exact — and ending with plenty of weeks to spare until Christmas, two lovely holidays that should have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Seriously. Aside from its Decemberish date, Hanukkah bears no relation to Christmas. But, as if our people haven’t suffered enough, we were recently confronted (or rather, re-acquainted) with the hideousness that is the Santa dreidel, when Kveller contributor Laurel Snyder tweeted the following image:
Like other unnecessary Hanukkah/Christmas crossovers — Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf and the perplexing Santa menorah come to mind — this ridiculous product, created by Archie McPhee, completely takes out the meaning of the Festival of Lights, making it as hollow and tasteless as the center of an unfilled Hanukkah donut.
And apparently I’m not the only one who feels that way — on social media, many Kveller readers agreed. “I work with Interfaith families and I grew up with parents of two faiths,” reader Kate Kinser commented, “I’d advise not schmooshing cultural expressions together like this.”
“In an interfaith family and I literally cannot conceive of a reason to do this,” reader Anne Tidwell added.
Plus, as one commenter pointed out, this shameful, spin-able item isn’t even worthy of the title of dreidel: “A dreidel without נגהש [ The Hebrew letters nun, gimmel, hay and shin stand for the saying, “Nes Gadol Haya Sham,” which translates to “a great miracle occurred there”] is simply a top.”
(I must add that it can also have נגהפ — or a nun, gimmel, hay and pey, which stand for “Nes Gadol Haya Po,” and translates to “a great miracle occurred here,” the four letters featured on Israeli dreidels.)
I will leave you with the words of Instagram commenter Aviva R, which I find apt: “Ugh. Stop trying to make Chanukah into Christmas’s pathetic little brother. Jewish holidays are Jewish and we’re cool with them.”