Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 8.25.23 PMHANUKKAH AND THANKSGIVING. HUH?

The reason Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will overlap this year is because the Jewish calendar repeats on a 19 year cycle, and Thanksgiving repeats on a 7 year cycle. You would therefore expect them to coincide roughly every 19×7 = 133 years. Which is correct – the last time it would have happened is 1861. But Thanksgiving was only formally established by President Lincoln in 1863 (which is why it has never happened before). It may not happen again because the Jewish calendar is very slowly getting out of sync with the solar calendar, at a rate of 4 days per 1000 years. This means that while presently Hanukkah can be as early as 11/28, over the years the calendar will drift forward, such that the earliest Hanukkah can be is 11/29. The last time Hanukkah falls on 11/28 is 2146 (which happens to be a Monday). Therefore, 2013 is the only time Hanukkah will ever overlap with Thanksgiving. Of course, if the Jewish calendar is never modified in any way, then it will slowly move forward through the Gregorian calendar, until it loops all the way back to where it is now. So, Hanukkah will again fall on Thursday, 11/28…in the year 79811.


We celebrate Thanksgiving with the same group of friends we have for hmmmm 30 years?  We were all orphans in Boston, no family, and we became our family.  We have tons to be thankful for.  Our extended families have changed through the years, deaths and births and marriages. And we have been there for each other.  And we have the same menu.  Whomever has the event makes a turkey.  Someone makes another…one to show and one to go!  We have squash soup, oysters, cheese straws which John’s mother used to make, now no longer with us, and he lives the legacy.  We have Mike’s cranberry salad, someone has to have it also from the can…yuk, but we are all polite…sweet potatoes with marshmallows which everyone loves, white potatoes, various wonderful vegetables,  brussel  sprout leaves were the hit as well as braised fennel, wild rice from Silver Palate, delicious gravy that Debby always makes. Drue provides amazing desserts, cookies and fruit tarts and chocolate delights. Margaret’s children make pies, pumpkin, apple, and others.  We have plenty for left overs.  Last year I made a turducken and this year I am trying a smoked goose. The afternoon starts with champagne and Jack Daniels. We give thanks, secularly, and delight in the time together.  We have had some years only 16of us…other years when all the kids come were are 26.

We were always in charge of the games…Jeopardy and teams…one year we spiced it up with Texas Hold em Poker…another year Pictionary.  This year we will do something about Hanukkah and bring all our menorahs to light the candles.

Wanted to share the Jeopardy game in case you want to have some fun with teams at your Thanksgivukkah Table. You will need to creatively have a flip chart with hidden questions…you know the drill on how the TV show is orchestrated…3 multiple choice answers and all in categories for points.
1.How many pilgrims died in the first winter
2.What is a baby turkey
3.How many feathers do turkey have at maturity
4.Who was the Mayflower Captain
5.What are unhappy cranberries called
6.Based on fossil evidence how long have turkeys been in the Americas
7.Turducken cooking dates back to
8.What % of Americans eat turkey for Thanksgiving
9.How fast can a wild turkey trot
10.What is the name of the red bit of flesh on top of a turkeys beak
11.How many pilgrims came over on the Mayflower
12.How many people attended the first Thanksgiving in 1621
13.When is Thanksgiving observed in Canada
14.Who was the first President to pardon a turkey
15.The first organized Thanksgiving parade was on Thurs Nov 25 1920 in what city
16.Who sponsored the 1920 parade
17.Did Macy’s ever lose a parade balloon and if so who
18.Who was the first famous balloon character
19.What year was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade introduced
20.The first Thanksgiving Day football game dates back to 1876, who played
21.What was the Mayflower originally designed to carry
22.Original name of pilgrims
23.Makes you sleepy after eating turkey
24.Indian chief that helped pilgrims survive winter
25.Declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1789
26.Skin that hangs down from turkey neck
27.Wanted the turkey instead of the eagle to be the national bird
28.The Pawtuxet Indian who was the translator at the first Thanksgiving
29.First English settlement
30. How many degrees can a turkey see with his eyes
31.How many apples in a gallon of cider
32.How high must a cranberry bounce before harvested

The internet is a great resource for current details on sports questions and turkey preparation. Set up the jeopardy board chart with categories and points and look up the sports questions to make sure they are verified correct answers or there will be arguments. Have fun!
We will do some questions this year on Hanukkah but want to keep these top secret until Thursday. Maybe I will make a lobster bisque instead of squash soup and shock everyone!

1.49 2.Poult 3.3,500 4. Christopher Jones 5.Blueberries 6.10million yrs 7.1800’s 8.95% 9.20mph 10.snood 11.102 12.143 90 Wampanoag and Chief Massasoit and 52 pilgrims 13.2nd Monday in October 14.Harry Truman 15.Philadelphia 16.Gimbels 17.Garfield 2005 18.Felix the Cat 19.1924 20.Yale vs Princton 22.puritans 23.tryptophan 24.Massasoit 25.George Washington 26.wattle 27.Ben Franklin 28.Squanto 29.Jamestown 30.270 degrees 31.36 32. 4inches

We have so much to be thankful for…every group has traditions on how to say it.  Families hold hands and sing the prayer, some have an elder or the host talk about thanks, some have each person say what they are thankful for, some remember those that are no longer with us.  Some say nothing and eat on their laps.  But the thoughts are there and the celebrations heartfelt.

SO NOW JUST GET OVER IT THAT RETAIL IS OPEN  The times they are a changing.  In Canada all retail is open on their Thanksgiving.  Now granted they did not have Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 11.46.49 AMColumbus nor the Pilgrims but really?  Canadians celebrate with their families and friends too. Are you the good guys Costco, Nordstroms, TJX, being closed, and the bad guys are Walmart, Target, Best Buys, Macys, Kohls?  Or will the good guys become the bad guys and miss out financially?  The good guys will get letters from customers saying yah you are closed, however these people  won’t be shopping at all!  Black Friday becomes Black Week.  The entire week sales Monday thru Sunday becomes the goal.  Every retailer has to decide their philosophy, open or closed and WHAT TIME their markdowns happen and then tell their customers.  Shopping during the week up to Thanksgiving is huge too…The old rules apply.  The early bird gets the worm.  Whatever the mission becomes a marketing challenge…all new for those in charge of messaging! If your markdowns go into effect at 12:01am on Thanksgiving and your doors open for customers at 8pm then tell your customers…and people can shop on line or at the store before or after the Thanksgiving dinner. I guarantee most stores will be open next year for shopping…and those that are not…then that is their decision. Stop the wahwah. Sales will happen without them.