Dear Store Managers,
‘Tis the season, once again, to go on the epic scavenger hunt that is finding the single Hanukkah end-cap display in your Christmas wonderland of a store. Now, I don’t like to complain (I love to complain), but it seems every year we come up against the same issue: Your Hanukkah offerings are tacky, nonsensical, and clearly thought up by a team of gentiles. And worst of all? There’s not enough of them.
You see, I don’t understand, after our years and years of complaining that “Oy to the World” isn’t as clever as you think it is, why you continue to offer this phrase on mugs, and not also on picture frames, throw pillows, and slippers, like its Christian counterpart? I mean seriously, just because we Jews started a petition claiming that “Oy to the World” is actually kind of offensive — maybe even antisemitic? — doesn’t mean we don’t want it on a holiday dinnerware set.
We’re also incredibly tired of your dreidel puns. “This is how we roll”? First of all, you don’t roll a dreidel, you spin it. “Drop it like a top”? Any Jew could tell you if you simply drop a dreidel, it will just, like, fall. To top it all off (now that’s a dreidel pun), the Hebrew letters on your illustrated dreidels are never right. Worst of all, the inaccurate dreidel jammies never come in my size.
How am I supposed to complain about how your blue and silver Hanukkah headband reduces a war story from the 2nd century BC to an $8 piece of plastic that’ll give my ears a rash when it’s already sold out? This is Christmas hegemony at its most egregious.
Don’t get me started on the dreidel string lights, either — clearly a knock-off of Christmas lights. We don’t need to have the Jewish equivalent of every single Christmas tradition, especially when the lights aren’t long enough to dangle across the window pane and really give my menorah display that *pop*. Maybe if you offered more options with varied sizes, we could argue more about why the color blue doesn’t actually have anything to do with Hanukkah.
And then, of course, there are the ugly Hanukkah sweaters, something we never asked for except for all those years when we literally begged you to give us something silly to wear to our holiday parties. “Happy Llamakah”? “Let’s Get Lit”? A sweater featuring a menorah with the wrong number of candles? Offensive, atrocious — and now you’re telling me they only come in grey?
I just don’t know what is so hard to understand: We hate this cheap, schmaltzy crap, especially how hard it is to find. We’re tired of going to three different big box stores before settling on a “Festival of Lightsabers” t-shirt that makes a mockery of our time-honored traditions — and will shrink after the first wash. And after years of Jews pointing out every single thing wrong with every Hanukkah offering you’ve ever given us, it’s just absurd that you haven’t offered any more.
Of course, we will also be the first to remind you that Hanukkah is a minor Jewish holiday. It’s not the Jewish equivalent of Christmas, and it really doesn’t deserve all this fanfare simply because it takes place in the winter. Besides, we shouldn’t be commercializing a holiday that’s all about fighting against assimilation. Putting a Hanukkah spin on Christmas kitsch is anathema to the values of the Maccabees, who would also be incredibly disappointed to learn that you’re only offering one “HAPPY HANUKKAH” garland when Christmas gets at least 10.
So please, consider upping your Hanukkah game this year. We want so much more to complain about.