How a Sukkah is like a Christmas tree


I am way behind on my sukkah decorating this year. The kids have gotten too big and too busy with school and sports and studying to make a paper chain. My husband is away in Japan. I will miss spending Sukkot in the old neighborhood, where my neighbor, a rabbi, could be heard joyfully singing kiddush with his family under a full Sukkot moon. So, in lieu of writing a whole new post on the holiday, here is a recycled one from a few years back…

Stacy Gittleman

Okay, so the headline of this post might shock and offend some, but please let me explain my bold statement.

Growing up in a predominantly Italian neighborhood in Staten Island, as the Chanukkah song from Adam Sandler song goes, I was the only  kid on the block without a Christmas tree. Our neighbors invited my family over for cake and tree decorating and we in turn invited them on Chanukkah to light our menorah, spin a dreidel and eat fried potato latkes.

 Even back then I understood that Christmas was a big holiday, and Chanukkah was a minor Jewish one. But Christmas trees still left me with a feeling of being on the outside, my nose pressed to the frosted window.

A menorah, no matter how big, even the ones that the Chabad Lubavich movement lights, just can’t compete with the smell of fresh pine, the twinkling lights and the tinsel to a Jewish kid on…

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About stacylynngittleman

I have been a reporter and public relations professional for over 30 years, specializing in profile features and investigative longform writing. During my career I've profiled WWII Honor Flight Veterans, artists and musicians and have written on topics that range from environmental and gun control issues to Jewish culture. Click around on my writing samples plus read my blog on my personal life raising three kids over 27 years and three cities.

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