If you've chatted with Jewish people lately, are one yourself, or you watch Colbert, you may be aware that Thanksgiving this year falls on the first day (second night) of Hanukkah, causing a clever person to dub it 'Thanksgivukkah.'
Alternatively, one of my favorite machine embroiderers, Sue Warshell of Stitches by Sue, is calling it Thanukah, which is definitely less of a mouthful for a holiday that's all about eating. (What about Hanugiving? Or Thank-u-kkah?)
Whatever you call it, the calendrical coincidence only happens once every 77,000 years (if ever), so it is a sort of a big deal. Happily, it has generated waves of creativity, not just linguistically, but also with fusion foods (pumpkin challah! pumpkin kugel!), crafts, decor, (many at Buzzfeed), and even fine art.
There are also amalgamations of the respective holidays' major symbols, turkeys and menorahs. For example, there is the menurkey, designed by a 9-year-old and funded on Kickstarter; a turkorah, by a wood artist; and a nameless candelabra made by arranging a flock of identical ceramic turkii (back at that Buzzfeed page), which could perhaps be dubbed a Turk-o-flock-o-Hanukkah-thanks.
I've been pondering this unique holiday in the midst of my personal crocheting jag. So, the other night, I was moved to make the following thing, complete with removable Pilgrim/Hasid hat and "lightable" tail candles.
I suggest permanently lighting the middle candle, the shammes. Then, to light the nightly candles, while sitting at the festive table, simply pull out your handy Hanukah crochet hook (also good for spearing latkes) and hook a picot in yellow yarn. Here's the shammes and the first night only lit up (far lower right):
To work with my strategy, you must understand working in rounds in crochet, and know how to increase and decrease. If you are experienced at crochet, especially amigurumi, this pattern will be a breeze. (My favorite amigurumi learning and pattern site is www.planetjune.com.)
Since I did this project this rather quickly, it has NOT been tested. That's why the strategy sheet is free! If you give it a shot, I would welcome comment and suggestions, and maybe a picture or two wouldn't hurt, to cathy (dot) perlmutter (at) gmail (dot) com.
So Happy Thanksgivukkah, or whatever you call it! And don't forget to cook a turdonut! (I just made that up. It's sufganyot/jelly donut stuffing for the turkey! The jelly inside the donuts inside the turkey makes it a triple cardiac threat, just like a turducken!)
I'll try to stop now.
UPDATE: I can't stop. Pumpkin Latkes = Plotzkes.
UPDATE: Many more mashups are here.
UPDATE: The holiday is also a social justice opportunity: http://ejewishphilanthropy.com/eight-giving-rituals-for-your-family-making-the-most-of-thanksgivukkah/
UPDATE: Not all Thanksgivvukah things are kitschy! Extraordinary artist/illustrator Flora Rosefsky has made four gorgeous art prints to celebrate the festive table (the last four prints on this page.) Use the contact form to purchase inexpensive 8" x 10" or 11" x 14" prints.
UPDATE: 11-16-13 A sequel to the Turkey Menorah saga is here.