The ‘Official’ Snarky Guide To The Differences Between Christmas and Hannukah


2016 is one of those rare years where Christmas and Chanukah begin at the same time. The evening of December 24th is not only Christmas Eve, but it’s also the first night of Hanukkah.

America is supposed to be a “melting pot,” however, a sad thing about the end of the year holidays is that most Jews do not understand Christmas…and most Christians don’t get Hanukkah. Since both holidays begin in less than two weeks, as a public service it’s time for me to explain the difference between the two (in the usual Lidblog snarky way).

Below are 18 differences between Christmas and Chankuah, all of it true (IMHO), some of it snarky. Why 18? Because in Hebrew the number 18 is represented by the same letters that spell out Chai—life.

chinese-restaurant-sign1. Christmas is one day, same day every year, December 25 based on the secular solar-based calendar. Hanukkah is tied the Hebrew LUNAR calendar, it begins on the 25th of Kislev every year.

However, the 25th of Kislev falls out on a different day of the secular calendar every year. Most Jews never know when that day falls on the secular calendar until a non-Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts. That question forces us to consult a calendar provided free from the Kosher butcher or the local Jewish Funeral Home. BTW, the Jews also celebrate December 25th. Why not? It’s a paid day off from work. So we go to movies (there are no lines because the Gentiles are doing something else). After the movies we make our annual Christmas pilgrimage to get Chinese food (a traditional Jewish food).

Interestingly, 2016 in the secular calendar is 4713 in the Chinese calendar and 5777 in the Jewish Calendar. No one knows how Jews ordered take-out for the first 1064 years of their existence.

2. There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanukkah, Chanukka, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannukah, etc. I like to use them all–even in the same post.

3. Christmas is a major Christian holiday. Chanukah is a minor Jewish holiday. Hanukkah isn’t mentioned in the Torah, it was created by Rabbis. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but bigger holidays like Passover, Sukkot, and Rosh Hashana, for example, were designated by God. And God outranks the rabbis ( a fact that some rabbis agree with). Chanukkah is only a big deal in America because Jewish parents wanted their kids to be able to brag about getting gifts also. But that is a fabrication of Jews in America…

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