Gallery: 11 Things I Do Not Want For Hanukkah

As an atheist Jew, I take Hanukkah very seriously. And by “take Hanukkah very seriously,” I mean “enjoy getting good presents.” Here are some things you should not, under any circumstances, get me for Hanukkah. I hope you’re taking notes.

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    • Cee

      Im non religious, but I do love me the Hanukkah foods! Latkes and sourcream and sufganiyots! Mmm!

    • MR

      Hmm I’m confused. My jewish girlfriends during my high school years – two had christian dads – all told me the story of Hunakkah. They said it was about rebellion and god’s presence. I’ll keep god out of it, but they also said a small number of gifts to show respect, because the festival wasn’t nothing about gift giving.

    • Avodah

      Technically, MR is right. Gift-giving is really not central to the Hanukah tradition. The main gift-giving holiday is Purim in which a ritual exchange of mishloach manos is central to the festivities. However, that being said- there is, of course, nothing wrong with exchanging gifts on Hanukah.

      In tradition, Hanukah is a celebration of a revolt that allowed the temple to be rededicated in about 165 BCE. When this happened, there was only a little bit of oil. However, that oil lasted for 8 days which was enough to meet the ritual requirement of having the oil burn.

      Josephus, the Talmud and the Gemara all mention Hanukah. I don’t know a good source of information off the top of my head, but I hope this clarifies the gift-giving thing.

      • MR

        Yes it does Avodah. Thanks. Everything my friends told me about Hanukah – whoops I see I typed my ‘a’ and ‘u’ inverse last time – made it sound almost like a story handed down like an oral tradition. I often blackout on the Talmud. Though they did describe it to me.

    • Steve P

      At the Winter Solstice, the darkest time of year in our northern hemisphere, may your holidays (Solstice, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa) be filled with light, love, warmth, family, and friends. And may you and yours be blessed with–and work for–justice, peace, sustainability, and prosperity for all in 2012.
      And regardless of whether your holiday of choice is Solstice, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or whatever, here is the true spirit of what it’s all about:

    • Lu

      This (super reform) jew freaking loves tequila. I’ll take all the Patron Jamie doesn’t want.

      Actually, I’ll just take all the Patron. I haven’t called Bubbe-in-law yet, and I’m gonna need it.

      • Jamie

        I thought that one might prove controversial. By “jews” I mainly meant “I”. You can have all the tequila, deal?

    • Debutante

      Hilarious List !! I went to Catholic school for twelve (!!) years, and my favorite was the “To be converted to Christianity and Saved” by Van Alden !!
      Great job.
      BTW, is it true that all Jews hate Tequila ? (so do I)

    • Stan

      Why 11 things?
      Hannukah is only 8 days.
      You were obviously not paying attention in Hebrew school.