Thanksgivukkah: the hybrid holiday

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Monica Lefton

One of the most impressive creations for Thanksgivukkah was a turkey Menorah, called a Menurkey, created by Asher Weintraub, a 9-year-old from New York City. This is an illustration of the two holiday items combined.

For the first time since 1888 and not again for another estimated 70,000 years, the first evening of Hanukkah fell on

One of the most impressive creations for Thanksgivukkah was a turkey Menorah, called a Menurkey, created by Asher Weintraub, a 9-year-old from New York City. This is an illustration of the two holiday items combined.
One of the most impressive creations for Thanksgivukkah was a turkey Menorah, called a Menurkey, created by Asher Weintraub, a 9-year-old from New York City. This is an illustration of the two holiday items combined.

Thanksgiving, November 28th, this year.

Dana Gitell, a marketing specialist from the Boston area, is credited with coining the phrase “Thanksgivukkah.”

Thanksgiving is an American and Canadian holiday created to celebrate and give thanks to the harvest of the year, done by eating a large lunch or dinner.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, also called the Festival of Lights. During the eights days, people light candles in a Menorah to commemorate the rededication of the Holy Temple.

This year, senior Sam Fiore celebrated the holiday as he does most Thanksgivings.

“I always go to my uncle’s house in Ohio, and it snowed there which is strange because it normally doesn’t,” he said.

But certain traditions were tweaked for the special occasion.

Sophomore Elliot Williams “watched the Macy’s parade, which included a dreidel float in honor of Hanukkah.”

Classic holiday foods were in for a twist this Thanksgivukkah. Buzzfeed.com suggests fusions like horseradish mashed potatoes and Challah stuffing join the tables. These were followed by desserts like pecan pie rugelach (a crescent roll cookie) and rye pumpkin pie.

Williams and Fiore have their own suggestions of a perfect Thanksgivukkah menu: latakas with gravy and sufganiyot (jelly donut) with cranberry sauce.

New York restaurant Kutsher’s Tribeca, has a special Thanksgiving menu for this year’s celebration. The selections include a choice between turkey or brisket and a side of pumpkin shlishkes (potato dumplings).

No matter what was on the dinner table, giving thanks was theme both holidays could connect to.

“I really like how they lined up this year because Hanukkah is usually most closely related to christmas because of the gift giving, but in reality Hanukkah is all about giving thanks to the great miracle of Hanukkah and for what we have,” Williams said.  “Thanksgivukkah let people realize that more this year.”

Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, describes his hope for the overlapping of the two holidays in an interview with JewishBoston.com.

“If we all celebrated [the holidays] separately it would send no message; this sends a real message of strength and working together to make a better community,” Menion said. “Thanksgivukkah is going to send a strong message that we’re all working together to make this a better America, a better city and a better world.”

Overall, the day stood out.

“It only happened once, so that was pretty significant,” Fiore said.