In the immortal words of Adam Sandler: “Put on your yamake, it’s time to celebrate Hanukkah!” That’s right folks, here it is: the eight day celebration that lights up the lives of the entire Jewish community worldwide, and Card Gnome’s selection of Hanukkah cards are perfect for all. Hanukkah is considered by some to be the most important of Jewish holidays; of course, those who consider it to be so are often kids looking forward to the holiday where they get the most presents. But that doesn’t mean that Hanukkah doesn’t have a special place in the hearts of all who observe it. It’s considered to be both a public and private celebration, a “lighting within” and a “lighting without”. But be sure not to start your lighting without sending Hanukkah cards to all those who have made your life a bit brighter. A Hanukkah card or greeting is always a great way to let them know you’re thinking of them, and that no matter how much hot wax gets on your hands, you’ll be sure to light a candle in their honor.
Hanukkah’s origins trace back to the conquest of Israel by Antiochus IV of Syria, who immediately outlawed Judaism and ordered the holy Second Temple to be dedicated to Zeus and for there to be sacrifices of pigs near the temple – since we all know how much Zeus loves bacon. Outraged at this violation of Kosher practices, the entire Jewish population rose up and was able to successfully overthrow their captors. They retook the temple and declared that a celebration be held, but they only had enough oil for one night. Nonetheless, they lit the ceremonial menorah anyway, and miraculously it stayed lit for eight more days. This is considered by many to be a miracle, and perhaps the inspiration for the invention of the energy saving light bulb. As a result of this event, Hanukkah is now celebrated with an eight-branched menorah, a candle holder in which a new candle is lit each night. There are other Hanukkah traditions as well, including special songs, foods, and sending Hanukkah cards. For children, Hanukkah celebrations often include spinning the dreidel and receiving gifts of gelt or small coins, though unfortunately they don’t get the same number of campy-but-entertaining TV shows that kids get for Christmas. However, in response to Hanukkah’s neighboring mega-holiday, many Jewish people in the west have made Hanukkah into a major gift giving holiday, especially since it’s hard to keep the kids quiet for eight days with just a dreidel. But don’t leave the rest of your family out, send a message or Hanukkah card to help spread the greetings – because not even the most miraculous lamp oil in the world can last as long as your friendship.