“On Yentl and Moishe and Yaakov and Hymie. On Lazer on Tzeitel on Velvel and Chayim,” a Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof look-a-like wearing a furry blue and silver suit hollers to his team of oxen. One hand on his head making sure he doesn’t loose his yamulcuh in the decent and the other hand gripping a bag full of toys, every Hanukkah good ole Hershel Stein (as jolly as can be expected in today’s day and age) visits the homes of all the Jewish children. In exchange for the Manischewitz and rugelach awaiting him, Hershel brings every Jewish child eight toys (provided they weren’t on the meshugeners list). The children try to wait up to catch a glimpse of old Hershel, but always fall asleep to their favorite holiday cartoon, The Schmuck Who Borrowed Hanukkah. Only after Hershel shoots back up the chimney and finally gets comfortable in his cart (the ascension triggering his chronic lower back pain), the sleeping children are gently stirred from visions of matzo balls dancing the Hora as he bellows, “Happy Hanukkah to all and to all a gute nakht!”
That’s my fantasy Hanukkah. I know it looks a lot like Christmas, but growing up as a Jew in the U.S., all I wanted was to be able too celebrate Christmas. Christmas came with dozens of delightful carols; Hanukkah had one twenty-one word dreidel song that was to be repeated ad nauseam. Christmas cartoons were the best; Hanukkah cartoons were non-existent. Christmas had Santa and reindeer and Frosty and trees and ornaments; Hanukkah was rumored to have a bush. While all the other kids in my first grade class were cutting out there construction paper Christmas trees, I was the only kid cutting out a menorah (which, by the way, is a lot more intricate then a Christmas tree).
I know what your going to say: Christmas only has one night of gifts while Hanukkah has eight. Technically, Hanukkah has eight, but at least in my family, it really only had one good one. On the first night, my siblings and I did get some good gifts, but by night two the gift quality quickly downgraded to socks and underwear. And it was a rare Hanukkah that we even remembered to light the candles on night three.
But I’ll stop kvetching. I’m an adult now, and I’ve left my Christmas envy in the passed. In fact, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah. To celebrate the eight nights of Hanukkah, I have included eight grammatical errors in this post. Their not tricky ones, like commas or semicolons; they’re all commonly confused word errors (i.e., there/they’re/their). List the errors in the comments section, and you will get one point per correct answer. I’ll do a drawing, and the winner will win a fabulous pair of socks!
(If you find more than eight errors, remember that the Christmas season is a very sensitive time for me.)