Ryan and I were planning to take Quinn to a friend's house in December for a party to celebrate the first night of Hannukah. We haven't really talked much about Hannukah, so I thought it would be a good idea to pick up a fun book about Hannukah to read with him to get him excited about the party. He's loved the Elmo's Night Before Christmas book that we've been reading to him since before last Christmas, and books have always been a great way to introduce new concepts.
So, I stopped at Borders and figured I'd grab a few fun books. No luck. I'd categorize their offerings for children's books about Hannukah somewhere between just plain lame and incredibly boring. I went to two more bookstores, and the best book I could come up with was a book about old ladies throwing a latke party. Not bad, but certainly nothing that hit the top ten list with Quinn. With all of the claims that the Jews run the media industry, all I can say is that they really need to work on the Hannukah marketing campaign.
The reality is that to a kid, at least on the surface, Christmas just looks like more fun. As someone who was raised Jewish, I can tell you that the Christmas decorations, Santa and the reindeer,
and the toy, cookie and candy orgy that Christmas brings
is really pretty compelling. In the race for kids attention and affection, Hannukah is starting ten yards behind with a foot tied behind its back and, rather than a bunch of lame offerings, there should be a serious marketing push to raise the fun profile of this holiday.
A little more creative thinking and marketing could give Hannukah a fighting chance -- the Hannakuh bush and Hannukah Harry really don't cut it. Better marketing of the draedel games and we've got poker with candy. wahoo! Latkes? well, they're okay, but since it's really all about the oil, how about focusing on doughnuts, and really really milk the "it lasts seven days! how can it not be better?!?" A quick search on Amazon for "Elmo and Christmas" versus "Elmo and Hannukah" is a good representation of why Hannukah just isn't getting its props - The first search brings 69 book results (a significant number, though some are probably a bit off the mark), including Elmo Saves Christmas, the latter search yields nothing. Apparently Elmo doesn't even know about Hannukah.