Some Jewish folks may tell you that Hanukkah falls on the same date every year (that would be the 25th of Kislev according to the lunar calendar) but most are simply excited about the culinary possibilities of Hanukkah coinciding with Thanksgiving this year (Turkey with Challah stuffing? Potato pancakes, aka latkes, with cranberry sauce?
The Star of David is probably the most recognizable Jewish symbol, but certainly not the only one! Here’s our Hanukkah gift guide to Jewish emblems and their significance:
Tree of Life is a figurative reference to the Torah and a symbol of wisdom
Hamsah Hand; not exclusively a Jewish ornament, it is thought to ward off evil in many Middle East and Mediterranean cultures.
Mezuzah; a mezuzah is actually a piece of parchment inscribed with biblical verses that is affixed to doorways to identify and protect Jewish homes. Decorative cases for the parchments have been elevated to an art-form over the centuries, which is why people—men and women, love to wear them.
Chai; The Hebrew word for life, considered by many to be a protective charm or merely an affirmation of, well, Life!
Menorah; the candelabra used in the ancient temple in Jerusalem and emblem of the modern State of Israel
Anything Blue and White; the colors of the Israeli flag, associated with light and the heavens.
Oh, and it’s perfectly appropriate to play Christmas songs on this occasion – not everybody knows, but so many holiday favorites were written and composed by American Jewish songwriters!