I’ve always loved Christmas songs. However, growing up in an observant Jewish household, they were sort of forbidden. Like ham. Although, truth be told, I never found ham all that appealing.
The…fact is, Christmas music is fun. It’s jingly and jangly and just uplifting enough to keep you from wanting to kill the driver in front of you while you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic because… well… it’s Christmas. Each year during the Christmas breaks of my childhood in central New Jersey, my parents would load our… >> Read More
They're timed to happen a week or two before Christmas. They usually feature treats like gingerbread or eggnog; decorations usually include wreaths, tinsel, maybe an illuminated tree. And while your…office or your neighbors may call it a "holiday party," I'm here to tell you something: These are Christmas parties. So can we please drop the pretense that these parties are non-specific "seasonal celebrations?" Over the years, I’ve attended my share of office holiday celebrations, neighborly get-togethers, and school “seasonal concerts." Some have been fantastic; … >> Read More
Here we are in the thick of the “holiday season,” even though our part, as Jews, is over. Hanukkah, in which we celebrate the rededication of the Temple, ended on Monday. Over the course of the…past eight days, we ate latkes and sufganiyot, and shone light into darkness. I’m sitting here, though, with an icky feeling — and that’s not just from eating too much chocolate gelt. I’m feeling perturbed about First Daughter and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump’s presentation of the “holidays” this year — and I’d like to explain… >> Read More
If you haven't noticed, we're on somewhat of a Hanukkah song beat. And in a world inundated with Christmas songs, we can't say we're mad about it.
So, on the 6th night of Hanukkah, we gift you the…most heartwarming Hanukkah song on YouTube: a wholesome rendition of the timeless song about the Maccabee's fight for freedom. You might recognize Yoni and Nina Tokayer from their cover of Matisyahu's "One Day" that went viral a couple years ago. The Israeli couple, known together as Yonina (a hybrid of Nina and Yoni), are famous… >> Read More
My daughter is in first grade, and she is the only Jewish kid in her class.
This is familiar territory for us: As a child, I was the solo Jew in my public school classroom, too. This made me…unique, and I always felt special being Jewish amongst my throng of Christian friends. Around the holiday season, my friends loved celebrating Hanukkah with me, and often gifted me eight presents while I handed them my one Christmas gift in return. The other week, I learned my oldest daughter was assigned the role of Christmas… >> Read More