Dear Hannukah Harry,
The first thing I want this year for Hannukah is Christmas.
No offense to my People. I love being Jewish. It's just that Christmas looks like so much fun, don't you think? Anyone who doesn't celebrate it is kidding herself if she says she isn't just a tad bit envious of the hoopla surrounding December 25. There is a tree to pick out and decorate. There are carols to sing. There is eggnog to drink. There are awful tinsel-covered sweaters to wear.
Harry, at Christmastime, you get to string colored lights on your house and put reindeer antlers on your dog!
Can't I do it just once? For 2012? I promise not to celebrate it for any religious significance, just as the cultural phenom it has become.
Look at it this way. Hollywood has immortalized the Christmas spirit in classic movies like White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. They even celebrate the stress of the holiday with movies like Four Christmases and Christmas Vacation. There's Miracle on 34th Street, and Elf and Scrooged and Bad Santa. There's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Arthur Christmas and The Santa Clause. There's a Home Alone Christmas and a Muppet one, too. Christmas is so mainstreamed, so American! Just like me!
When I tried to think of Hanukkah movies, I couldn't come up with a single one. Then I remembered that Adam Sandler, the Patron Saint of Hanukkah, had made Eight Crazy Nights a few years ago, cornering the market on animated Hanukkah musicals. But beyond that one, I was stumped. Google was of little help, bringing me to a site that promisingly listed the Top Ten Hanukkah movies. Number one on the list was the little-heard-of holiday classic, Shalom Sesame, in which Grover goes on "an exploration of Jewish traditions and identities."
Is Grover Jewish? Hmm. Did you know this, Harry?
The list fell apart from there, with titles like Chanukkah on Planet Matzah Ball, and Chanukkah and Passover at Bubbe's. Maybe the first hurdle to creating a quintessential seasonal feel-good flick is that no one can agree to a definitive spelling of the holiday. How can we immortalize Chanukkah when it's also Hanukkah, Harry?
In short, if I treat Christmas like one big, over commercialized, jingle-infested Santa mall, can't I participate just this one time? Pleeeze?
Fine. Moving on.
The next thing I want for Hanukkah this year may seem underwhelming to you after the big shanda of my Christmas wish, but here it is, my soul laid bare: I want a second refrigerator to store extra food in my basement.
"I got a second refrigerator in my garage last year, and it changed my life," my friend told me the other day. She actually boasted about it, if truth be told.
If I had a second refrigerator in my basement -- or, I could put it in the garage, I suppose -- I could buy items in bulk, thereby reducing my carbon footprint and helping Al Gore and the planet. As it is right now, I drive to the supermarket twice or sometimes three times a day in my big stinking SUV. If I could buy 50 frozen pizza bagels instead of one puny box of nine at a time, I would be a saner person and the hole in the ozone layer would begin to heal. My kids would never run out of fish sticks or pizza bagels or ice cream, and I'd never have to cook again because all I'd have to do is heat things up or defrost them. I'd spend less time in my car, aimlessly driving around suburbia trying to remember the one thing I forgot to get at the grocery store and more time ranting to the world via my computer. That's what I'd call a win-win.
Lastly, Hanukkah Harry, I'd like a personal assistant. It's really hard to keep track of all my little post-it notes with to-do lists scribbled on them. I'd say that 6 out of 10 items get done later rather than sooner, and approximately 1 out of every ten items doesn't get done at all. I would be much more efficient if I could just tell someone else what I need done and have them do it for me.
Think about it this way, Harry: if someone else bought, kept track of, and wrapped my children's 16 Hanukkah presents, then I'd have plenty of time to string the lights on my Christmas tree.