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When the Jews Come Out For Christmas

Love this time of year.

Last week we had our annual holiday staff party at World of Beer. The theme was holiday hat decoration. Christine in our office actually did all the artistic work for our hats. Mine was a crowd favorite ... Star of David with silver trimmings. Many people thought I was a Dallas Cowboy fan.

Growing up in New Orleans to Jewish parents (well a Jew and a half) ... Christmas did not visit our house. Hanukkah was the holiday of choice. Eight crazy days of presents.

Not sure presents would be accurate. Gifts? tchatchkis? um ... cheap stuff? One year I got a dreidel (a top with Hebrew letters on it.)

Dreidels are the first step to a lifetime commitment of gambling. Spin the top for cash ... well, loose change. Children take turns and follow the direction that the letter gives you.

Each letter tells you what to do. Take half the pot, take all the pot, match the pot, share the pot, etc.

Sometimes you use gelt.

That's Hanukkah chocolate money. We used to get gelt as a gift for one of the eight crazy nights.

The other nights I remember getting stuff like model airplane kits and Lincoln logs.

One year I remember well. It was the last night of Hanukkah and my dad must have forgotten a gift for my brother and me. We lit the candles and Sammy disappeared into the basement.

He came back beaming with our gift. It was a rope. Not a jump rope ... nope ...

Just a rope.

Happy Holidays!

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