David Steinberg was eager to get home from college for
winter break; he couldn’t wait to celebrate Hanukkah with his family. “I love all of the family traditions,” he was
overheard saying to his campus Hillel representative, “we light the menorah,
sing Hanukkah songs, and play dreidel, what could be better?”

David’s explanation seemed a bit suspect, however, so we
decided to investigate further. He
agreed to meet with us to discuss the reality of the situation on the condition
that we would be far away from any authoritative religious figure. “I think I’ve got a good shot at an IPad,”
David quickly admitted, “I mean come on, what kid doesn’t want an IPad? If my parents can’t figure that out they’re
hopeless. Oh, and I wouldn’t mind some
new clothes, every time I go out I feel like I’m attending a Frankie Goes To
Hollywood Concert.”

David’s desires for a multitude of gifts is predicated on
the fact that Hanukkah is composed of eight nights of gift giving, or at least
that’s the excuse we Jews use when Christians talk about how much better
Christmas is. In reality, Hanukkah’s
often occur in one of the following three ways: one awesome gift and the rest
of the nights you get monogrammed pencils and stationary, eight mediocre gifts
at which a child must feign excitement but in reality feel the tears swelling
up inside because there’s no way he really wanted NFL Monopoly, or eight
different books that your parents gave you as an implied reminder that
our people are smart and successful so you better be a doctor or a lawyer.

David’s excitement dwindled upon arriving home for Hanukkah’s
inaugural night. “A flash drive, are you
fucking kidding me?” David asked as he tore off the wrapping paper. “You honestly think I wanted a flash drive? Do you know what Jimmy Smith’s parents are
getting him for Christmas? The new IPhone,
a leather jacket, and a prostitute riding a horse, both of which are his to
keep. God damn, I am definitely marrying
out of this crazy culture. And while we’re
discussing crazy Jewish traditions, what the fuck are latkes? I mean they are delicious, but how has no one
ever noticed that they are just hash browns in cake form? Am I the only one who sees this? I feel like I’m
going crazy. They are definitely not
unique to our culture. It’s like
Christians claiming they invented the tree.
They may have come up with the idea for a Christmas tree, but they
definitely didn’t CREATE trees.”

The rest of the eight crazy nights didn’t pan out so well
for David. He accumulated three books, a
set of ballpoint pens, a blank cd, a beanie baby, and a lava lamp. “At least I got this sweet lava lamp,” David
announced to his friends back at school, “Suck on that Jimmy Smith!”