Previously, I posted here about having been invited to two Hanukkah parties, both hosted by non Jews. Both parties were cancelled due to scheduling conflicts and illnesses, but I did wind up at my friend’s house while they were celebrating Hanukkah.
First of all, they had a Christmas tree and a “Hanukkah tree,” which was another Christmas tree decorated with blue, white, and silver ornaments. This was done at the request of my friend’s Jewish roommate who apparently always had a Hanukkah tree, but I let her know that this is something that my family never did and was actually against.
I lit the menorah, and I quickly realized that my friend did not know the Hanukkah prayer. I said it and then my friend had presents for her 4 year old under the Hanukkah tree. He gets one small gift a night.
The only reason why I haven’t talked to my friend about Hanukkah being a closed practice is because this holiday brings so much joy to her child and I don’t want to take that away from him. It feels selfish and wrong for me to do that. But they’re definitely not celebrating the way I did growing up. They didn’t even google the prayer!