The Commercialization of Hanukkah
From Our Holdings
In the United States, Fisher Price has mass-produced a special play set for Hanukkah as part of its "Little People" holiday series, which includes nativity scenes and the multicultural "Families in Your Neighborhood" collection. With its introduction, the American toy company is also responding to a growing US trend.
Hanukkah and Christmas
Actually, Hanukkah is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. It is a festival of light celebrated in the home with ceremonial candle-lighting and the eating of traditional, deep-fried, oily foods. This winter holiday usually falls during the Christmas season, sometimes coinciding with Christmas day itself. Meanwhile, Christmas has become increasingly commercialized over the past decades, particularly in the United States, and Jews living as a cultural and religious minority are bombarded with relentless Christmas marketing. Not only children are allured by a magical, twinkling Christmas tree or the whiff of gingerbread. In a struggle to assert and maintain their identity, increasing numbers of Jewish families have made Hanukkah into a more important festival: it is widely observed with glowing Hanukkah lamps, fresh potato pancakes, and competitive light decorations.
Color-Coded Wrapping Paper
But what about the gift dilemma? Gifts are not traditionally given on Hanukkah, but on this point capitulation has been the preferred solution for many. The US gift industry has noticed this trend and begun developing Hanukkah products, from festival hand towels to dog toys. Even wrapping paper colors are codified: red and green for Christmas, blue and white for Hanukkah.
|Title||Little People Chanukka Play Set|
|Location and year of origin||China, about 2003–2005|
|Material||Plastic, cardboard, metal|
|Dimensions||Various, height: 4.5–11.5 cm, width 4–17.8 cm|
|Type of acquisition||Donation|