“Hanukkah is the festival of lights… Instead of one day of presents, we get eight crazy nights!” We all know and love the Adam Sandler song as the one Hanukkah song we could blast every year with epic pride. I remember listening to the song as a kid, and getting SO excited for those eight nights of presents and fun to roll around. Then, I grew up. The traditions are still there, but there are some major ways Hanukkah changes as an adult.
What are these changes as you enter your late 20s, you ask? They’re a mix of good and kind of sad, as you let go of your youth and realize that 30-plus is a whole lot closer than you ever realized. It’s at that point that you have to start appreciating all the aspects of Hanukkah with a new perspective, instead of the childlike excitement you used to cling to.
As an adult, you can’t get away with the same stuff you used to; it’s true. However now you can get away with some new stuff that is infinitely better than the fun you used to have as a kid. It’s time to embrace being an adult during Hanukkah and take eight nights to celebrate being Jewish and proud!
1. You don’t get the eight nights of Hanukkah presents anymore
Perhaps the most disappointing truth to face is no longer being treated to eight nights of presents. It was the one thing you could always flaunt when all those other kids were celebrating Christmas. Your parents may no longer have the time to give you eight presents, but you’ll at least get one present you know you’ll love as an adult. No more crayons and puzzles for you, it’s time to upgrade to some serious loot.
2. You actually understand what Hanukkah is about
Say what you will about getting older, actually understanding the story of Hanukkah as an adult and its subtle nuances makes for a much more enjoyable holiday experience. No need for your parents to strap on an armadillo costume like Ross from Friends to tell the story. This year, you’ll be asking to hear it!
3. You realize gelt is gross
Yep, that chocolate you used to hoard and devour every night during the sacred week tastes not so great now. That faux chocolate whatever-the-heck-they-are coins are plain icky, and you’d rather eat your vegetables and skip dessert than have to shove one more in your mouth. Now you know what good chocolate is, and you can indulge in that. Let the kiddos have their gelt!
4. You can drink alcohol
Finally the day has come when Uncle Larry’s tried and true Hanukkah anecdotes will no longer make you want to roll your eyes. You’ll be just the right amount of tipsy by the time you light the candles that it’ll be all about love, love, love in your eyes. Heck, just host a vodka and latkes party to really set the mood!
5. You finally get to light the candles
No more "matches aren’t safe for children" nonsense from your mother. You get to be the master of ceremonies now and be bad*ss with your lighting skills.
6. Dreidel is still fun… with the right prizes
I don’t care what anyone says, playing a rousing game of dreidel is still a ton of fun! You just have to have the right prizes now. Get the gelt outta here, and use your favorite candy, shots of booze, money, etc.
7. You have an excuse to party eight nights in a row
Yeah, that one pretty much explains itself. L’chaim!