What happens when you invite an Irish lapsed-Catholic to Hanukkah? They get drunk on kosher wine and try to blow out the menorah. Just me?
Doesn’t matter, I’m invited back this year. As a matter of fact, my good friend Jonathan Dobbin (an ad exec pal from New York who schools me on all things Jewish) invites me to his family’s Hanukkah dinner every year, and reminds me of the following:
1. Don’t bring ham (uh, I wasn’t going to).
Although they’re not kosher, they still don’t want ham at the table, a lot of Jews don’t eat it. Who carries around a ham anyway? “Thought you’d love this slab of ham.” Just stay away from it.
2. Hanukkah falls on different days every year.
And one of those days may or may not be Christmas. (This year, it’s all over before the big 2-5.)
3. Respect the blue and white.
“Goyim need to wear blue and white, not green and gold, to Hanukkah parties. It’s not Santa’s birthday,” says Jonathan.
What you can bring:
1. Food, cash
Buy or make potato latkes and you’ll be an honorary Jew forever. You can also bring your host/hostess a book, candle, kosher wine, or cash. (Or maybe the cash thing is just a request from my friend. Hey, wait a minute…)
Don’t come armed with Santas, candy canes, or snowflakes. There is no North Pole associated with Hanukkah, OK?
Stick with the blue and white theme.
3. Games to play
Bring the “Jew Pack,” version of Cards Against Humanity, which tells you your headache is definitely cancer and reminds you to call your mother.
And remember, it’s a guttural Hhhhhh in Hanukkah. If you need some help, here’s a Jewish greetings cheat sheet. Check it in the bathroom while you Google the deal with Jews and ham.