Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

by Aaron under JFacts,Judaism,News

This year marks an extraordinary occurrence that many people outside of this JDate blog will likely be talking about to an annoying degree this week: the fascinating meeting of Thanksgiving and Chanukah for the first and last time in many of our lives (though I’m feeling confident about being here for Chanukah closing out Thanksgiving 2070). It’s an obvious subject for me to talk about as my blogs are posted on Thursdays, and Thanksgiving is on a Thursday this and every other year.

However, I don’t tend to enjoy the obvious topics, so you’re not about to read why you should be thankful for everything. Instead, I would like to explain a bit about why Chanukah and Thanksgiving go great together, and why Chanukah should remind us not to be complacent.

For the uninitiated, Chanukah is about a small amount of something going a long way, particularly a small amount of oil burning for eight days (though really, the miracle was the victory of the Maccabees). Making a lot of nothing is the key point of the holiday, and it emphasizes how to make the best of any situation. Fittingly, Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for what we have and being proud of that.

Similarly, I was discussing prayer with one of the rabbis I regularly study with a few weeks back, and we went over what Jewish prayer has to consist of. It has to contain three things: praising, thanking, and requesting. We have to be grateful for all around us, even if it’s not the specific things we’ve asked for. We also thank G-d for anything we’ve gotten that we’ve wanted. And lastly, we ask for more again. The idea of wanting more always seems like such a taboo thing on Thanksgiving, we should be lucky we have what we have. But lucky for us, this year is also Chanukah, and so you can thank and praise, but don’t forget to want some more, too. Next year won’t have Chanukah and Thanksgiving meet again, but you can still ask for it to be an even better time than this year.

And of course, I wish everyone reading this a happy Chanukah and Thanksgiving, and hope you’re here with me for all the blogs ahead. Thanks for reading!

Thanksgivukkah Gifts

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

On the heels of Holiday Humdrum, another related subject about gifts often comes up with new couples during the holidays. If you recently got serious with a JDater and thought you’d have a chance to get through Thanksgiving and become more serious before having to figure out what you’re going to get your new significant other for Hanukkah… well, your luck is out this year and the pressure is on because Thanksgivukkah is quickly approaching.

There are a few things you can do to take the pressure off though. You can have a talk and decide to wait until New Year’s Eve to exchange gifts or you can decide to set a limit on what you will spend on each other or you can agree to forego gifts altogether while still making sure to celebrate together.

Finally, a typical “Jewish mother” reminder: when you go to someone’s home for a holiday party remember to bring some kind of hostess gift be it a candle, a bottle of wine, or flowers. If you are bringing someone home to your house or if you are going to someone else’s house to celebrate then offer to help even if you know you will be rejected and definitely take it upon yourself to help clear dishes after each course.

Holiday Humdrum

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

As Thanksgiving and the holidays approach there are 2 paths singles can take: give up the search for your beshert to avoid the pressures of a relationship during a period filled with family affairs, office parties and social functions; or make even more of an effort to find a significant other to share in the festivities.

Neither train of thought is inherently wrong but you don’t want to miss an opportunity to meet someone special because you’re afraid of introducing a date to your coworkers. And you don’t want to get serious with the wrong someone just because you don’t want to be alone during the holidays.

Your best bet is to continue as normal, being active on JDate, and going to your local Jewish holiday parties. If you meet someone and feel comfortable inviting them to a party then do so but don’t create unrealistic expectations. If you meet someone but feel awkward inviting them to a party, then don’t do it but don’t give up on something developing later either.