The holidays are a time for friends, family, and of course, food. There's the delicious Christmas roast, the rolls, and you can't forget latkes on Hanukkah! Wait, what? Christmas and Hanukkah?

That's right, I get two holiday dinners in the winter. My mom was raised Christian and my dad is Jewish, so we celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. We light the candles in the menorah and we decorate the Christmas tree, and we have all sorts of holiday food.


cake, birthday cake
Alaina Tepper

For Christmas we mostly celebrate like everyone else that celebrates Christmas does, you know with the tree and the presents and the dinner. For dinner we have a roast and lots of guests to eat it.

My Bubbe (which is Hebrew for grandmother) and my aunt come with their families and anyone else who wants to join is welcome. After dinner we give each other presents and simply spend some quality family time together.


Alaina Tepper

Our Hanukkah is fairly standard too, we don't really stray from the usual traditions. My Bubbe comes over for the first night and makes potato latkes, which we eat with sour cream or applesauce (both are delicious but applesauce is my personal favorite). Then we light the candles in the menorah and say our prayers as a family.

Afterwards my sisters and I play dreidel for chocolate coins called Gelt and try to "curse" each other into losing. If you don't know what dreidel is, it's basically gambling for children. Hanukkah also winds down with present giving and family time.

Christmakkuh? Hanumas?

So Hanukkah (and all other Jewish Holidays) runs on the lunar calendar, and ends up being a different date every year because the current calendar system is solar. Every once in a while it ends up that a day of Hanukkah is the same day as Christmas. Sometimes it's even the first night of Hanukkah (like this year), which is when we have our feast. That's when things get complicated.

If it's any other night of Hanukkah we could just light the candles, say our prayers, and continue on with Christmas dinner. But this year we have to combine our holiday dinners. We'll have roast and latkes for dinner, both Christmas and Hanukkah gifts will be exchanged, and we'll get to have the spirit of both holidays at once! It'll be a little strange having all of our holiday traditions in one night but we'll get to experience it as a family which is what holiday dinners are really about.