I’ve learned a lot of things since second grade, and one of them is that holidays are not meant to be competitive. But when I was 7, my case for Hanukkah “beating” Christmas was impassioned. In fact, the ferocious intensity of my argument might mark the closest I’ll ever come to channeling RBG. Hanukkah is EIGHT WHOLE DAYS!!! That’s more than a week’s worth of presents!!! Okay, so that was my whole argument. But still, the annual countdown hosted by my own mind for the Festival of Lights filled me with such joy, I didn’t even miss the the treats-laden Advent calendars many of my classmates got to enjoy for 25 entire days leading up to their designated wintertime holiday.
Could I tell you that the significance of Hanukkah centered upon the miracle of a small, impossible-seeming amount oil keeping a menorah burning for eight nights in ancient Jerusalem? Sure! But did I want to? Not at all. All I really wanted was for my dad to fork over that lit candle so I could place it in its rightful spot on the hideous clay menorah I made in preschool.
Then I wanted to eat latkes—potato pancakes traditional for Hanukkah literally just because they’re fried in oil, amen; then I wanted to open the presents I knew were coming my way; then I wanted to play dreidel, a thinly veiled gambling game in which gelt, or chocolate coins, are up for grabs rather than real bills; then I wanted to eat that gelt. And guess what? That’s exactly what I got to do. For more than a joyous consecutive week, every year.
For me, Hanukkah was right up there with the likes of my birthday, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day—all occasions that afforded me new stuff, and, like, chocolate. And, as someone whose Bat Mitzvah theme was candy—yep, just…candy—let me me tell you, the sweets-laden dates were not something I let slide by unnoticed. (On that note, if you want a cotton tee emblazoned with “I had a sweet time at Alexis’s Bat Mitzvah,” LMK. My mom would like that box out her house, like, 15 years ago.)
So basically, my Hanukkah miracle, for the rest of my life, is that my extreme appreciation of it as a child didn’t ruin me (I don’t think, at least…). But it’s all relative; there are daily miracles we can all celebrate every single day. Check out some small but mighty miracles outlined below.
8 wellness miracles we can all celebrate for Hanukkah (and every day of the year).
No matter what you celebrate, it’s the season of giving. Maximize these great credit-card rewards deals to get some benefits from the presents you buys. And here’s how to talk with your significant other about holiday-gift expectations.
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