Giving small gifts to children has become common around the world, though nowhere has Hanukkah reached the level of commercialisation that it has in the US.
Despite the primacy of Christmas in American culture, the visibility of Hanukkah in pop culture reminds Jews that they have their own holiday in which they can take pride.
Hanukkah is ranked one of Judaism's minor festivals, but its popularity in the US has a lot to do with America's Jews trying to fight assimilation into a culture that welcomed them.
For the African-American community, Kwanzaa is not just any "black holiday. " It is a recognition that knowledge of black history is worthwhile.
Hanukkah was instituted in 164 B.C. to celebrate military victory, but the meaning has changed over time with the circumstances of the Jewish people.
For those wondering whether it is sinful to drink, even moderately, a scholar goes into the history of alcohol and its distillation to show how early monks and priests contributed to it.