April 13, 2024
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April 13, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

We’re lucky to be living in an age when we have products that can do things that our grandparents never even dreamed of, probably because they had priorities. They weren’t sitting around, going, “I wish I had a way to make Chanukah cookies into actual Chanukah shapes.” Because sometimes you make Chanukah cookies, and people are like, “I don’t want to eat these. They’re round. What is this, Rosh Hashanah?” So nowadays, you can buy a package of cookie cutters that comes with a menorah shape, a dreidel shape, a Magen David, a shield and a Maccabee. At least we think it’s a Maccabee. We’re not sure what the Maccabees looked like, but they probably looked like gingerbread men.

There are also lots of awesome items with Chanukah print on them, I guess so you don’t accidentally forget that it’s Chanukah. This is a common problem, apparently. On the other hand, no one really buys these products for themselves. No one says, “We really need to buy oven mitts for Chanukah. The ones we own don’t have dreidels on them.”

For example, one item I saw recently was a set of Chanukah-print juggling balls. Really? This is what you’re encouraging near the candles? Maybe wait until after Chanukah.

And it’s not just Chanukah print. There are also lots of Chanukah messages. For example, I saw a mug that says “Happy Chanukah” on it, but in one of those spellings that make it obvious that the secular world has no idea how to spell Chanukah. It’s different every time. But my point is that this mug is great for Chanukah! And that’s it. No one’s drinking out of it in July. I’m not even sure why you’d put that message on a coffee mug in the first place. Who are you buying this for? Is someone buying it for themselves, because they want to wish everyone around them a Happy Chanukah, but they don’t want to stop drinking coffee? Or are you supposed to buy it as a gift? (“Well, I wanted to get you ‘World’s Best Bubby,’ but I didn’t want to offend my mother-in-law. Happy Chanuqqah!”)

Also, you know those bibs and pacifiers and onesie undershirts that say things like “My First Chanukah,” like that’s not plainly obvious?

“Oh, I couldn’t tell it was his first Chanukah. He didn’t say anything. I handed him a menorah, and he had no idea what to do. He was shaking it like a gragger. But now I get it! It’s his first Chanukah. I just have to explain things to him. Like, ‘We don’t eat the dreidel.’ I thought he was just being difficult.”

Well anyway, I saw a mug this year that said, “My First Chanukah.” Who is this for? Are you giving your baby coffee? Even the most secular Jews celebrate Chanukah. It’s their biggest holiday, because it doesn’t involve fasting or unplugging devices. My guess is it’s for geirim.

“Is he drinking the oil?”

“Yeah; it’s his first Chanukah.”

But the good news is that there are tons of new products you may not even know about. For example, you can buy a donut maker. Because for years, people have been asking, “Why buy donuts at the store when you can make your own donuts at home in only about 3-4 hours of patchking and trying to figure out whether to stick the jelly into the donuts or build the donuts around the jelly?” So now you can buy a special sandwich-maker type device to make them in, and the best part is that the donuts you make won’t be as good as the stores’! The donuts you make at home can never be as good as the stores’, because if someone figured out how to make awesome donuts at home, he’d be dead within the week.

Another product you can buy is dreidel-shaped ice cubes, in case you want to cool off your “Happy Honnikuh” coffee. They’re also great for parties. And the ice cubes are reusable, which is disgusting. They come in several different colors, and they’re plastic, so they look like actual plastic dreidels. You just put them in your drink, and then you stand around at Chanukah parties with a dreidel floating around in your cup while the other person has to maintain eye contact and pretend nothing’s weird. At least until you take a sip and accidentally choke on it.

Another thing that you can actually buy is a set of nine Chanukah-candle finger puppets, which, if you put them all on at once, make it very hard to light the menorah. Especially since they’re flammable. But you could definitely wear them if your house is cold. It’s also great to wear with your fingerless gloves, and you still have one finger free to push your dreidel ice cube to the side while you take a sip of your oil.

By Mordechai Schmutter

 Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia, The Jewish Press and Aish.com, among others. He also has five books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

 

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