Friday, December 16, 2016

Hanukkah, Hannukah, Chanukah

As the holiday season quickly approaches, we naturally see an increasing number of holiday-themed articles, columns, and essays. This is one from today's New York Times, and what follows is my submitted comment in reply, which has been categorized as a "Readers' Pick."

NYTimes: When Your Holiday Is Chrisnukkah
It is rare and inspiring to find a soulful and moving account of a woman's perseverance through unimaginable illness and suffering while still embracing deep senses of wonder and delight. I dare say that anyone who struggles through such agonizing and debilitating illness can do whatever they like with holidays: combine, rename, invent.
Nevertheless, the author's genuinely overwhelming experience of gratitude need not necessitate the conflation of two distinct holidays, regardless of whether they often occur in close proximity to each other or share a common element of using light to enhance the darkest time of year.
While Chanukah and Christmas may be alike in some ways, they still remain very different holidays, celebrating very different things - and that is a good thing! Each on their own offers us much more than an amalgamation of the two. Let Christmas be Christmas, and let Chanukah be Chanukah. Most importantly, thank you to the author for her admirable strength and skill in sharing her story.

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