To Be or Maccabee: Exactly What Is Thanksgivukkah is the Question

We're just three days away from Thanksgivukkah, the ultimate holiday mash-up (really ultimate, as it won't happen again for almost 80,000 years).

The ersatz occasion is more than just about kids getting all giddy about gelt and gifts before they've even flipped the calendar to December, though I know of an 8-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister who will beg to differ. And it's also more than an excuse to make sweet potato latkes--not that there's anything wrong with that. For amid the fun of the holiday and the celebration of a wondrous miracle, not to mention a smashing military victory, there is deeper meaning.

Stefanie Zelkind, director of the Jewish Teen Funders Network, appeared last week on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly on PBS to talk about what Hannukah and Thanksgiving might have in common. Watch her appearance here. This would also be a great time to catch up with Stefanie's popular blog post from last month on how you can incorporate giving rituals into Thanksgivukkah, so the holiday is more memorable than that menurkey you won't use again.

For parents caught short buying presents, fear not, this is but a blip on the calendar. The lunar cycles will cooperate next year, when the first candle won't be lit until Dec. 16. And procrastinators will surely rejoice in 2016, when the first night of Channukah is December 24. Which means we get to be re-acquainted with Christmukkah (Hannukmas?) and crowds at the mall all over again.

Happy holidays.