For my friend Alyssa who never disappoints.
As you probably know, last night was the first night of Hanukkah – a holiday steeped in tradition. From lighting the candles to making the latkes, to playing dreidel, Hanukkah is a holiday filled with rich history. But there’s one other tradition that is rarely talked about around this time of the year.
And that’s the tradition of being thoroughly and utterly disappointed in the presents that your parents give you each night.
Now let me say this. Hanukkah is not Jewish Christmas. We’re not really supposed to get presents, save for some chocolate coins or a dreidel. We’re supposed to light candles and eat latkes. But, the idea that Jewish kids get eight presents is more about its proximity to Christmas, and our refusal to let our children feel left out of anything, than any Talmudic Jewish writing.
Even so, every year Jewish parents painstakenly comb the Target shelves and novelty toy stores to wrap eight thoughtful gifts in hard-to-find blue and silver wrapping paper in order to completely let their kids down.
That, my friends, is the other miracle of Hanukkah.
Holiday present disappointment isn’t new. It’s not even limited to Hanukkah. I have plenty of friends who’ve related to me their own memories of emotionally crushing Christmas mornings filled with flannel pajamas and socks under the tree. Like a latke recipe or an heirloom ornament, holiday present disappointment is passed down from generation to generation. My two most memorable Hanukkahs are the year I didn’t get a Cabbage Patch Kid and the year I didn’t get a Snoopy Sno Cone machine*.
So, I shouldn’t be surprised that in spite of my son actually picking this gift out himself, the face I captured wasn’t one of sheer elation. Naturally, I did what every parent with an iPhone and constant need for validation does: I posted it to Facebook.
The responses were hysterical.
As we enter this holiday season with our hearts full and our credit cards depleted, I wish you that happiest, healthiest most disappointing holidays your children will ever remember. Just remember, eventually they’ll have their own children to disappoint.
And they’ll probably want flying cars.
Got a funny story about you or your kids’ holiday gift disappointment? Share it with us in the comments or email me – I’ll be sharing the funniest pictures and stories on Possessionsta and the Possessionista instagram and Facebook pages.
*my parents gave me a sno cone machine for my wedding. That and 20 years of therapy, but I’m totally great now.