Thanks to everyone who answered our Thanksgivvukah survey.
We thought you’d like to see the results that addressed a mix of family, timing, and celebration issues.
In general, people are optimistic about the impact on their families. 31% are very excited; 53% think it will be OK; only 16% have stronger concerns.
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People are most excited about:
“Having Chanukah with my whole extended family on Friday.”
“Having the Chanukah lights burning while we eat Thanksgiving dinner.”
“Being all together.”
“Having more time to spend with family.”
“Sharing Hanukkah with non-Jewish family.”
“Bringing the ideals of the two holidays together. It is a great teachable moment.”
People are most concerned about:
“Not being able to get together with both sides of the family, as we usually spend Thanksgiving with one and Hanukkah with the other.”
“Hanukkah being overshadowed.”
“Not diluting either holiday.”
“We also celebrate Christmas, so we will probably get our tree that weekend, too.”
“Making sure the focus is not only about food and presents, but about Thanksgiving and family time.”
“Getting presents bought in time for early Hanukkah.”
There were also the poignant personal issues: “This is the first holiday where we’re just on our own; I recently divorced.” “My cousin who just lost her husband.”
One respondent who lives far from a Jewish population emphasized the need to plan ahead to get supplies. She also feels isolated and misunderstood – or even discriminated against. For her, the convergence contributes to the perception that they are “different” from their neighbors..
Biggest positive focus: menu planning
For people who are eager for the giganta-holiday, the biggest excitement is around the convergence of foods.
“Having latkes instead of mashed potatoes.”
“Spending time with my daughter in the kitchen blending cuisines.”
“Having latkes with cranberry sauce.”
We’re entering uncharted territory.
One respondent nailed it when she answered that what “most excited” and “most concerned” her was “Sharing my faith with our friends.”
Another respondent said: “We all get along well and are tolerant of differing beliefs, but we will all be staying in our house where we do celebrate Jewish and non-Jewish traditions – although not usually at the same time!”
Please let us know how Thanksgivvukah is for your family.
And relax. Maybe. Next year, Hanukkah starts December 16th and ends December 24th.