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Hanukkah and the weekend before us

Happy Hanukkah.
Happy Hanukkah.

Hanukkah, Chanukah, it’s the Jewish festival of lights, and it begins tomorrow evening at sundown. The city of Los Angeles has the third highest population of Jews outside of Tel Aviv (New York and Haifa are first and second, respectively) so many menorahs around the southland will be lit Friday night. The celebration continues for eight nights during which the Skirball Center, the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market, the Third Street Promenade, Universal Citywalk, the Burbank Town Center, and of course, neighborhood synagogues join in the festivities. In two weeks, many of us will celebrate that other holiday, the red and green one, which has been bombarding us since before Halloween. One of the beauties of Hanukkah is that you don’t see a lot of gelt or dreidels before December. The festival is skillfully restrained. Blue, white and gold have only, in the past two weeks, become prominent colors in many stores. For that, shalom. Let’s hear it for the Maccabees.

And yet, Christmas, like Glenn Close, will not be ignored. Break out the eggnog (lowfat is best) and rent “A Christmas Story” for nostalgia and laughs. Hershey’s rolls out their dark chocolate mint truffle Kisses this time of year, which are perfect for a viewing of the musical “Scrooge” with the family. Both films are classics, which brings up the marketing campaign for ABC’s “Yes, Virginia” airing Friday night on CBS. In Macy’s yesterday, there was a big display for the show, claiming it was a classic. Not a classic story, nor based on a classic true story, but a classic all on its own merit. As far as I know, something earns this distinction by, at the very least, being just a teensy bit aged. No one has seen this yarn yet, so they should leave it up to the audience over years of annual viewing to decide whether or not it deserves the honor. Had to get that off the chest, you know? Take a look at the clip, however, because it does promise to be very entertaining.

Tonight on ABC Family is the original Christmas movie, “Holiday in Handcuffs”, but that just sounds sado-masochistic. Did no one on the production side consider the warped minds of parents like me?

If the weather cooperates, try some outdoor ice-skating at Pershing Square (take the Metro), LA Live (also downtown), ICE in Santa Monica or ICE in Woodland Hills.

For lights, go to Griffith Park to enjoy their Light Festival, but park at the zoo from now until the 17th because, new this year, you can only hoof it until then (on foot or horseback). No cars allowed.

Altadena is hosting their annual Christmas Tree Lane event and Saturday, starting at 2pm, there will be arts and crafts, refreshments and a visit from Santa.

Jingle those bells. Make those dreidels out of clay.

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