Here’s Why Hanukkah Is NOT The Jewish Christmas

Here’s Why Hanukkah Is NOT The Jewish Christmas

The Festival of Lights is still great, but it is definitely not the Jewish equivalent to Christmas.

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As you may or may not know, the Jewish holiday Hanukkah began on December 1, commemorating the Maccabean victory that occurred thousands of years ago. The so-called "Festival of Lights" is associated with eating latkes and jelly donuts, spinning dreidels, lighting candles, and......eight days of gifts!

Despite the long-standing tradition of gift-giving on Hanukkah, there really is no reason to give eight days worth of gifts. In fact, giving gifts is a custom specific to certain countries, countries where Christmas is celebrated, as well. Hanukkah gift-giving isn't even a thing in Israel, the home of the Jews.

So, where did this tradition start? Well, it basically started to make Hanukkah a competitor to Christmas so that stores could sell more and little Jewish kids could stop feeling sad that they didn't celebrate Christmas. In elementary school when all my friends bragged about what they were getting for Christmas, I could snap back and tell them that I was getting eight times whatever they were getting — and I'm not going to lie, it felt great to rub it in their faces.

But eventually, my parents broke the truth to me, and I stopped getting Hanukkah gifts. Period. Tragic, I know. Most of my Jewish friends still get their eight days of gifts, and there is nothing wrong with that. At this point, it's a part of the holiday (especially in the United States) and it would almost be like breaking tradition if they were to stop the fun. However, I can now celebrate ~Hanukkah~ for what it really is: a holiday that serves as an excuse to see family, light candles, and feel proud to be Jewish. Although the holiday wouldn't nearly be as big of a deal if it weren't for Christmas being around the same time of year, it is definitely NOT the Jewish equivalent to Christmas.

PS - sorry if the spiel is a little bit of a disappointment, but I had to put it out there.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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