Yes, you read that title right—this is the first, and only, year in most of our lifetimes that the first day (but second night) of Chanukkah falls on Thanksgiving! So, for people of my ethnic persuasion, the food possibilities have opened up big-time!

We can have potato pancakes and applesauce alongside our turkey and stuffing, (the last of which will be made with challah bread, of course!) We can have chocolate candy “gelt” (coins) with our pumpkin pie. And in the non-food category, we can sing Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel while watching post-meal football! How fun!

thanksgivukkah-WEBWhen Seth Cohen invented “Christmakkah” on one of my all-time favorite TV shows, The OC, (I’m welling-up just thinking about the end of that series,) I don’t think any of us thought there would also be a Thanksgivikkah coming our way. I love these hybrid holidays! [Note: there are several different spellings of all the holidays I’ve mentioned, so I’m not a stickler for any one of them. Take your pick.]

I’m not writing my usual column about being grateful because we all should know to do that without someone else suggesting it. (But, if you need the reminder, here’s my column of some of the things I’m grateful for from last year, which all still apply, including props to you guys:

This time, I’m suggesting activities to keep you occupied for the rest of the holiday week-end, in case, like me, pushing your way through sale crowds is not your thing:

– If you live in or near Los Angeles, or are visiting, and you’re a fan or the arts, or alternate holiday festivities, you should definitely check-out the Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company‘s one-night-only production, Navidad En Mexico, at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday night. I’ll give you more details on Friday, but if you’re anxious for some info now, here’s their website:

— If you do want to shop, but not at crazy store sales, how about a lovely holiday boutique? I’m sure there are ones all over the country at this time of year, but if you’re in the Los Angeles area, here’s one I recommend on Saturday, November 30, from 8AM to 3PM, (which gives you time to make it to the ballet at night!): Heaven’s Holiday Boutique, at Sylmar Christian Fellowship Church in Sylmar, California. (If you’re not familiar with that town, it’s in the North San Fernando Valley.) The address is 13901 Polk Street, zip code 91342. I’m sure you can pick-up some great items! (If you’re shopping for me, I love chocolate and silver earrings.)

— And how about catching-up on the current crop of possibly-nominated-for-something movies? So many locals are out of town, or desperate for sales, that the theatres should be a breeze this week-end. I’ve had the privilege of being on the Screen Actors Guild Nominating Committee this year, so I’ve seen just about all the new releases, and can recommend some and steer you clear of the more painful ones.

The three I recommend most are Saving Mr. Banks, One Chance, and Philomena. It seems that no films without a modicum of angst are released at this time of year, but these three have at least several laughs and lots of charm. And some semblance of a happy ending, unlike just about everything else I’ve seen.

But, since this is Thanksgiving, if you really want to be thankful for your own life, no matter what the circumstance, might I suggest the gut-wrenching Out Of The Furnace? Or 12 Years A Slave? Or Prisoners? I saw those three in a row, (over two days,) and, I swear, they squashed my soul. [Note: I’ll be reviewing as many as I can as soon as I can. In the meantime, I did review a few new films, which you can check out in my Movie Reviews archives on the left-hand side of the front page.]

– If dark theatres aren’t your holiday thing, there’s always brunch with pals who we’re always too busy to see when we’re working five days a week. That’s what I’d really rather do than anything else.

– But, if the weather is crisp and Fall-like where you live, a hike or family touch football game might be the perfect way to spend the luxury of a free afternoon.

– But no worries—if it’s icky out, and staying in your best option, you don’t have to be bored—just catch-up on all my columns you may have missed over the past four years!!! Yeah, I think I like this plan the best! And I’m sure Mr. X will love it, too, when he finds out that’s what we’ll be doing! Either that, or watching episodes of my old show, Karen’s Restaurant Revue, and reminiscing about when I was a toothpick.

No matter how you spend your holiday, I wish you all a grateful, and safe, Thanksgiving, Channukah, or Thanksgivikkah, whichever one you’re celebrating!


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