I have a friend who likes the aesthetics of Hanukkah. Last year, she invited me over to celebrate with her, and so I made food, said the prayers, lit the candles, etc. This year, we did the same, but she mentioned how she wants to buy decorations for next year, and I honestly didn’t know what to say.
My friend is functionally an atheist, but seems to like the external meaning of Chanukah. But without knowing the history behind the holiday, wants to do Hanukkah and still celebrate Christmas. I just don’t get it.
Last week, my Christian co-worker started to learn a little bit about Chanukah from me, one of the only two Jews at work. One day she came up to me and mentioned wanting to buy a menorah and light it “to represent unity, because we are all one” and I kind of went off on how it wasn’t appropriate.
Chanukah envy is real and I don’t know how to deal with it. Gentiles who only know the outer aesthetics but very little of the substance of the holiday. They love their Christmas, God forbid they don’t have their Christmas trees… but they also want our menorahs and our dreidels too.
I don’t know what to do or how to deal with it. It’s not like they are harming anyone, but I still feel uncomfortable about it.