Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Hanukah and Christmas have in common are Cupcakes

I’m serious - cupcakes. I’ll tell you about it in a second but first a recap. Hannukkah sometimes spelled with two kk’s and sometimes spelled with a Ch (Chanukah) is the eight-day Jewish holiday that commences on December 25th. Christmas is the celebration on the 25th of the birth of Jesus Christ even though his birth was more likely in September. Jews are remembering a bloody but successful second-century rebellion against Syrian invaders, a subsequent rededication of the temple in Jerusalem with accompanying miraculous lighting of lights for eight days using one day’s fuel. Christmas recalls that God compelled by love for contaminated humanity, sent his divine Son to earth via a supernatural conception in a virgin’s womb, for the sole purpose that the Son would become a sinless sacrificial atonement for human sin so that believers might be saved.

The two emphases clearly sound unrelated other than a shared calendar date. Some Christian writers are asserting that Christmas and Chanukah (pronounced Hanukah) have a lot in common. Having read their supportive material I have concluded that they have been hitting the punch bowl a bit early.

What are shared in common are trimmings that neither tradition appreciates. North Americans are weary of hearing Christians decrying the secularization and commercialization of Christmas while being as heavily into the parties, decorations and gift giving as anyone. Jews too, have allowed the compromise of an authentic Hanukah with the addition of gift giving for eight days, meals galore, decorations, even trees, albeit Hanukah trees. Some Jews transfer Christmas customs to the Hanukkah festival and to this blend has been given the term "Chrismukkah" replete with a Christmas tree and a Hanukkah menorah. No wonder some Jewish commentators feel that for too many American Jews, Chanukah is merely an insipid blue-tinsel copy of Christmas. For purists in both camps the concerns about the high jacking of respective traditions continues.

What took the cake for me was reading that specialty bakeries were making both celebratory Hanukkah Cupcakes and Christmas cupcakes. This is in reference of course to the cupcake craze that began a few years ago, possibly at New York City’s Magnolia Bakery and gradually spread across the country and into Canada. Cupcakes are the new Krispy Kreme and frozen yogurt. There is high demand for these delectable treats. I am referring you to the TRACYCAKE BAKERY CAFÉ at 9090 Glover Road, Fort Langley accessible. 604-888-1984, Tracy Dueck is the owner who bakes 200 cupcakes every day and they are gone. I have tasted a few of these, compliments of my wife, and they are sooo good. Don’t lick this page.

Happy Cupcakes.

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