Christmas and Hanukkah on the chessboard
December Dilemma chess set, china, around 2004

When the Christian-dominated majority culture lapses into the Christmas spirit each year, many Jews experience a conflict known in the U.S. as the December dilemma." Dealing with the dilemma results in new holiday traditions": Some interreligious families celebrate both holidays and have even been known decorate a Hanukkah bush. Jewish families elevate the Hanukkah holiday to new importance, giving gifts to their families eight days long; families of different religions send neutral holiday cards with the message "Seasons greetings."

alternative Navigation To the first room of the exhibition: getting in the mood for the celebrations To the second room of the exhibition: the historical roots of Hanukkah To the third room of the exhibition: of the birth of a god and baby cribs: the beginnings of  Christmas To the fourth room of the exhibition: how the main holiday rituals originated and what they mean Light the Hanukkah candles in the right order To the fifth room of the exhibition: Hanukkah and the struggle against oppression To the sixth room of the exhibition: Christmas celebrations throughout the ages Blue ball with Star of David, Christmas tree ornament, USA 2003, Copyright: Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Jens Ziehe