Happy Thanksgivukkuh

It’s a phenomena so rare that my Google sources won’t say exactly when it has happened before or when it will happen again. Guesses ranged from 70,000 – 80,000 years before a repeat. My logic says the holiday Thanksgiving hasn’t been around that long so this must be a first, if not a last. Thanksgiving and Hanakkuh both fall on November 28 this year, and some have dubbed it Thansgivukkah. Thanksgiving has already deteriorated into Black Friday while Hanukkah, which started a night early, continues for eight days of celebration.

Good teachers and Time News Feed note the differences in the two holidays but focus on the similarities. I recommend the entire Times article that can be Googled. It points out that both holidays are about food, religion, refuge from oppression, and thankfulness and both are a reason to go home.

Those same clever teachers have turned the traditional handprint turkey with the palm for the body and four fingers for the tail feathers into a different symbol using both palms overlapping to make the turkey while the eight fingerprints form the eight candles of the menorah. Would that be a menurkey or a turkorah?
It will come as no surprise that I’m rereading a favorite book in celebration and remembering the many second graders who enjoyed it with me as a read aloud. I loved introducing them to the clever Hershel of Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins each year. Its author Eric Kimmel is a fine story teller, and illustrator Trina Schart Hyman is one of my favorite artists.

The goblins who hate Hanukkah haunt the synagogue, blow out the candles, break the dreidels, and throw the potato latkes on the floor until Hershel comes to the rescue. Usually, none of my students were Jewish, but a bit of background information on the holiday along with a few turns playing the dreidel game had them giggling at Hershel’s trickery and requesting a turn to borrow my book afterwards to read for themselves.

Happy Thanksgivukkah to all of you! If you need a good story to celebrate, Hershel’s is hard to beat.