a gay black woman's discovery of her jewish self

Is a Hanukkah List too much like a Christmas List?

Posted on: November 29, 2010

There are 2 nights until we light our first Hanukkah candles.  I’m testing-driving my Hanukkah party music, 1/3 Hanukkah songs by the LeeVees, Barenaked Ladies, and some amazing Hanukkah swing music if you can believe it.   1/3 Christmas Carols that don’t mention Christ, Jesus, Babies, Angels, or Miracles.  1/3 really great jams by Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, Siji, and more.  I’m still toying with the idea of Hanukkah decorations and I need to find a dreidel or two but in all of my Hanukkah party craze I realized that I forgot to write a list of presents I want for Hanukkah.

I don’t really need anything and Mirs has really great gift-giving sense but it got me thinking, do little Jewish children give their parents Hanukkah lists?  As a child growing up Christian you write a letter to Santa and that’s how he knows what to get you for Christmas.  Of course parents intercept this letter from the child with the promise of putting it in the mailbox to the North Pole, a tradition I’m having mixed feelings about.  The child also gives their parents a list of things they’d like for them to bring.  On Christmas day, at least in our home, the presents from Santa were not wrapped because he didn’t wrap presents (duh) and the presents from our parents were wrapped.

There isn’t a magical elf associated with Hanukkah so do Jewish children just tell their parents what their Hanukkah wishes are or do they make a list addressed, “Dear Mom and Dad”

2 Responses to "Is a Hanukkah List too much like a Christmas List?"

I never grew up with the idea of Santa. It wasn’t done in my house. Actually, I hated the very idea of Santa. I would hide from department store Santas so they wouldn’t try to get me to sit in their lap. My mom’s only rule was that I could never tell other kids that he wasn’t real. Anyway, all that to say I don’t know what it’s like to give a list to Santa. As a child I’m not sure if I told my parents what I wanted? I’m sure I had some ideas but I’ve always been reluctant to ask for gifts. When our future kids are small I’ll probably buy them whatever I want (or know they would like) and then when they are older I’ll ask for ideas.

No Santa! Wow…that’s awesome. I told my partner that I wanted to do the same-tell our future children the truth about Santa and assure that they kept the secret to themselves-to not spoil the “surprise” for their classmates. She thought I was taking the fun away. I’m torn. The idea of Santa comes from St. Nicholas but I like the magic of movies like The Polar Express and the lure of the North Pole…

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