To those who are Jewish Hanukkah is a beautiful time. Many years ago I copied the following from a letter to the editor of one of the Toronto, Canada newspapers:
"It strikes me as odd, how quickly the Christmas spirit turns on just after Halloween, and turns off on January 2nd. Perhaps Christmas has just become an excuse to do, once a year, what we should be doing all year round: be charitable, connect with friends, and live life -- have a good time. I guess I'm saying that I do enjoy the fringe benefits of Christmas without participating. The lights are lovely, the music joyous, the giving admirable. But it is nice to come home to the simplicity of the Chanukah candles." (Neilia Sherman / Psychiatric social worker, North York, Ontario, Canada)
There is nothing wrong with celebrating Hanukkah, any more than it is wrong for people to celebrate a Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the holiday might be considered a Jewish thanksgiving festival. And, if you want to celebrate it, find a Jewish family who would be willing to share their festival with you.
Interestingly, although it is only mentioned once in the Bible, Hanukkah is the backdrop of one of the nastiest confrontations Jesus had with the Jews.
22. Now it was winter, and the feast of dedication was taking place at Jerusalem. 23. And Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24. Then the Jews encircled Him and said to Him, "How long are You going to hold us in suspense? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly." (John 10)
The Jews knew Jesus was going to be at the festival and seized upon this opportunity to confront him regarding the claim that he was the Messiah. After a brief discussion Jesus stated that He and the heavenly Father are One. After hearing what he said the Jews, well aware of what Jesus' statement meant, began to hurriedly gather stones in order to immediately STONE HIM TO DEATH (John 10:31)! They said to Jesus, after he asked why they wanted to kill him,
"We will not stone You for a good work, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a man, are making Yourself God." (verse 33)
Because it was not yet his time to suffer death, Jesus was soon able to escape the wrath of the Jews unharmed (John 10:39) during the time we now know as Hanukkah.