Christmas in a Jewish neighborhood

On the SDMB a few weeks ago, I posed a question wondering if Jews decorate their houses for the holidays. My folks (Mom’s Lutheran, Dad’s Jewish) live in a suburb of Buffalo that has a good-sized, although not domiannt Jewish population; you’ll see things like Hanukkah candles in a window, blue and white lights, and illuminated Stars of David.

I live in a neighborhood outside of Cleveland where Jews are a plurality. A few blocks to the south, it’s 70% to 80% Jewish. On Saturdays, you’ll see quite a few Orthodox Jews walking to and from temple.

So … how do folks around here decorate their houses? They don’t. Here in Lyndhurst, where Jews mingle with Italian-Americans and Heinz 57-types, displays vary from block to block. There are some decorated houses on my street, but very few compared to areas dominated by the goyim. No blue lights, no Hanukkah candles in the windows, no plastic rebbes on the lawns. A little bit further away, Beachwood is dark. There’s very ornamentation or lights anywhere, except for the lone goy or two every couple of blocks. Same thing in the Taylor Street area in Cleveland Heights; it’s dark.

Drive over to Lake County!
Not that much of a hugh Jewish population here; quite the opposite!
With this many Christmas lights and ornamentation, you’d think that there’s gonna be another huge regional blackout because of the power drain!

My family never put up any Hannukah decorations. As an adult, I sometimes put the lit menorah in the window in the evening. When I lived outside Tel Aviv (granted, some time ago), lit menorahs were the only “decoration” I saw.

Hannukah is not a big deal. It’s not a religious holiday. Until recently, it wasn’t a very commercial holiday. As a kid, I’d get a small present (e.g., a paperback) on 7 nights and a slightly larger one (e.g., a pair of earrings or a new ike lock) on the 8th night.

That’s bike lock.

Well, we certainly know what the music would sound like. Wonderful site: Click on the name of each “carol,” not on the icon above the name (they’ve got some broken links in there). It’s tough to choose a favorite from the group, but Oy to the World is a ruby among gems.

Hannukah is not “pre-celebrated” by practicing Jews the way Christmas is.
In Jewish houses, you will generally see the Candelabra (it’s not a menora!) During the holiday evenings - for about one hour or so in each house (that’s what the average Hannukah candle lasts). Very little beyond that.
In more mixed/less religious neibghborhoods (perhaps like your parents’), you may see more Jews having what amounts to a commercialized “Jewish Christmas” - complete with “Hannukah bushes” etc. :slight_smile:
This year, hannukah starts sometime on or around next weekend (Dec 19, give or take a day). from that day on, for 8 evenings, you will see plenty of Candelabra in the windows of your Jewish neighbors.

I remember reading a while a go (sorry, I don’t remember where) that some (many?) Jewish parents were trying to up the Hannukah anti, so to speak, by giving bigger more elaborate gifts in order to compete with Santa Clause.

I don’t know how wide spred this is - could be like the “Everyone in Japan gives Gift Apples!” when my SIL has never heard of it. (She’s Japanese - lived there her whole life - never saw an apple.)

Exactly. You’ll see the hanukkiot (candelabras) when Hanukkah starts, not before then.

(Noone Special, are you an oleh/olah? You obviously know English and have lived in a predominantly Christian country.)

There is so much interest in Hanukkah on the SD of late. I wonder why we never get a load of threads like this round some of the other holidays.

Noone Special, no argument about technical terminology, but davke in the US pretty much everyone (including Jews) them “menorah,” not “candelabra.” When I came back from Israel and referred to a “hanukkiah,” nobody knew what I meant.

If moving to Israel at the age of 9 months counts, then yes, I could be considered an Oleh… But I speak English with my parents to this day, and do most of my reading in English. As for living in a Christian country - spent 3 years (not consecutive) in the US.

OK. Didn’t intend to be snarky, and on re-reading I see it came out snappier than I had intended. Sorry.

No apology required–just thought you’d like to know.

Okay, I was just curious.