An Open Letter to Whoever Finds my Menurkey
When my grandmother passed away, my grandfather found a literal treasure trove of hidden money. Everywhere he looked he found hidden quarters, tucked away dollars, and piles of change. This might have been nothing more than an amusing anecdote, had my grandmother not been confined in a wheelchair for most of her life. It’s a mystery that confounds us—how did someone who never carried cash end up with a few thousand dollars squirrelled away?
Thinking about that story makes me laugh. It also makes me wonder what strange things my future progeny might find when it comes time for them to clean out my attic. I’m betting they’ll laugh at the technology they come across, the outdated clothing, and, most likely, marvel at the things I deemed worth saving. But the one thing I’m sure they will shake their head at will be my menurkey. So, to whoever finds this inexplicable relic let me explain myself.
An Open Letter to Whoever Finds my Menurkey:
In 2013 a miraculous thing happened. Thanksgiving and Haunkuah overlapped and the whole world went crazy. The day was deemed Thanksgivukkah and quickly became a thing of legend. Songs popped up- some genuine, some parodies. Websites devoted to the day were designed. T-shirts in every shape and size celebrated the day. Even the Mayor of Boston proclaimed the day to be an official holiday.
And I bought a menorah shaped like a turkey—aka a menurkey. The menurky took on a life of its own—originally a Kickstarter campaign, the menurkey idea took off. The campaign raised almost twice their original goal, with 820 backers pledging funds and support in less then a month.
As the hoopla continued, people started taking sides. The battle of Thanskgivukkah began to get a little rough. Some declared the holiday to be a horrific case of assimilation, and found the entire premise to be troublesome. Some people went Thanksgivukkah crazy, shouting their love for the whimsical day from their (literal and metaphorical) rooftops. And some people simply became overwhelmed by the hoopla, asking for a bit of a reprieve from the “all Thanksgivukkah all the time” way of life.
I recently found myself in a conversation about my holiday plans with someone who wasn’t Jewish, and I was taken aback when he hadn’t heard of the day. In my world, there hasn’t been a break from discussing the tremendous coincidence of the holiday overlap since it first started making waves a few months ago. Not knowing about Thanksgivukkah is simply not an option for most Jews—especially those who find themselves connected to the zeitgeist of the community through social media.
Now that you’ve found my menurkey, I’m sure you have more questions. I assure you, not all menorahs found themselves shaped like a turkey during my lifetime. (Although I did have the honor of joining Kehillah Shechter Academy when they presented their own turkey shaped menorah to Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo.) And that is what makes this holiday so fun—it is a once in a lifetime opportunity to sit around the Thanksgiving table and say the prayers for Hanukkah.
I admit, I might be tiring of all of the fuss, but I still can’t shake my excitement. There’s a whimsy and a holiday feeling of joy out there that I often don’t feel going into Hanukkah. I don’t live close to my family, and Hanukkah isn’t a travelling holiday for me—but Thanksgiving is. For better or for worse, I’m celebrating Thanksgivukkah this year—and I’m doing it with my menurkey.