Lamenting the increasingly premature arrival of all-things-Christmas is a favorite American (especially American Jewish) pastime.
However, this year, with the first night of Chanukah on Wednesday, Dec. 1 (ack — just four and a half weeks away!) we Jews can be credited with ushering in the holiday season early this year.
In the coming month, I’ll doubtless chime in with all sorts of tidbits about Chanukah, Christmas and the so-called “December Dilemma” many of us interfaith families face. But first, I am going to shill — yet again — for InterfaithFamily.com. I won't be nudging you anymore to vote for Ed Case for Jewish Community Hero (sadly, he didn't make the top five finalists). But, this time you can put your little mouse to work by filling out IFF's annual December Holiday Survey.
Yes, I know I just promoted the Jewish Outreach Institute survey, but this one is also important and gives you a chance to win a $500 American Express gift card (putting to shame that $100 Amazon card I didn’t win). The survey asks about holiday observances, of course, but also all sorts of other questions aimed to help better serve you, and it does not take too much time to fill out. Just hurry: the deadline is Friday, Nov. 5!
Also on the chance-to-win-free-stuff-for-Chanukah front, one of my favorite bloggers, Homeshuling’s Amy Meltzer, is raffling off a new children’s book called “A Chanukah Noel” to all who post a comment on her blog “that tells us a little bit about either your relationship to Christmas as a child, or your own children's feelings about the holiday.” Deadline for this is Sunday (as in Halloween!) so hurry!
On a related note, yesterday, while listening to “Fresh Air” (in between enduring important but seemingly endless WNYC fundraising pitches) I got to hear Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart’s brilliant “Can I Interest You In Chanukah?” For anyone who missed it last year (or who just wants to make the song a regular holiday tradition), check it out on YouTube. I'm trying to embed it, but my tech skills are pretty pathetic...
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