Hanukkah Deserves More Attention

Aly Fosbury, Staff Writer

During the holiday season, I encounter hundreds of Christmas themed cards, ornaments, wrapping paper, and even foods, but barely any Hanukkah related items.

Hanukkah came extra early this year, on November 27, but even then, there seemed to be a lack of representation in stores and other commercial establishments.

In fact, according to the Dollar Store’s website, they no longer carry any Hanukkah decorations.

I am surprised at how little recognition Hanukkah is afforded in my community during the holidays. While the date of Hanukkah varies –it can fall extremely close to Christmas Day– most of what is being sold at this time of year is related to the Christian faith.

There are occasionally little sections hidden away in some stores with a few selections of Hanukkah themed wrapping paper and maybe a few decorative lights, but there are hardly ever aisles dedicated to the Jewish holiday.

I do understand that unlike Christmas, there is no tree or “special delivery system” for Hanukkah gifts, but it is no less a time for giving, receiving, and celebrating miracles.

Stores should pay more attention to Hanukkah, as well as other Jewish holidays.

The Festival of Lights also gets overlooked. Even though this is not a high holiday in Judaism, there is still a fascinating story behind it.

Holiday songs are another area where alternative traditions get snubbed.

Occasionally, I find myself humming along to a Christmas song. In the middle of December, only Christmas albums seem to be featured on the radio or played over the speakers in stores. Various artists such as Mary J. Blige and Kelly Clarkson have covered a few of their favorite holiday songs, none of which include anything about Hanukkah. This is to be expected I suppose, because while Hanukkah songs are catchy, they are also sparse. Still, it would be nice to see some artists cover a few Hanukkah songs.

It’s just not fair that with all of our contemporary culture’s efforts to be equitable, Judaism gets left out.  Think of all the energy and funding that goes into establishing equality for race and gender in our society.  It’s time to consider ways to establish equity in the promotion of religious holidays as well.