We’re just a little over halfway through the Festival of Lights, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to still get into the Hanukkah spirit. Sure, Christmas-themed movies are some of the best ways to get into the spirit of the holidays, but when it comes to Hanukkah-themed movies and TV episodes to ring in the celebration of the miracle of Hanukkah, the pickings tend to be slim.
But, thanks to Adam Sandler, the Rugrats and everyone’s favorite neighborhood Jewish boy, Seth Cohen, Hanukkah-themed media isn’t impossible to find. It exists, and we’re pretty glad. Here are eight of the best Hanukkah movies and TV episodes to still get into the spirit of the holiday before it ends this coming Monday.
“Saturday Night Live” – Season 20, episode 7
It would simply be wrong for us not to include Adam Sandler’s finest piece of work, “The Chanukah Song,” which debuted on “Saturday Night Live” in December of 1994 on “Weekend Update.” While the rest of the episode is not entirely Hanukkah-themed, Sandler perfectly captures what it’s like to be “the only kid in town without a Christmas tree” during the holiday season. Don’t sleep on this one — it’s truly a classic.
“Eight Crazy Nights”
If you totally dug “The Chanukah Song,” you can see it in action in Adam Sandler’s very own animated musical comedy film, “Eight Crazy Nights.” While not seemingly entirely Hanukkah-themed right off the bat (and not totally family-friendly either), Adam Sandler as a guy just trying to get rid of his old habits is surely one to get you into the spirit of those eight crazy nights.
“The O.C.” – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever”
It was in this episode that both Ryan Atwood and the entire world were introduced to Seth Cohen’s genius, or rather, the concept that is “Chrismukkah.” Hear us out, and hear Seth out too — Chrismukkah is a wonderful little holiday that captures the spirit of both Christmas and Hanukkah (hence, “Chrismukkah”). While Seth originally created this celebration for his Catholic mom and Jewish dad, it’s definitely worth taking a look at how the Cohens merge the two holidays together (yamaclauses included).
“Rugrats” – “Chanukah”
What’s a Jewish holiday without a “Rugrats” special, you might ask? Practically, nothing. If you’re at all familiar with the “Rugrats” Passover special, might we suggest “A Rugrats Chanukah”? Trust us when we say that you’re never too old for a “Rugrats” holiday special. So, be sure to check out Tommy, Chuckie and the whole gang’s shenanigans as they celebrate the Festival of Lights and help Grandpa Boris out of a pickle.
While not entirely a Hanukkah movie per se, “Full-Court Miracle” totally captures what the Hanukkah spirit is all about — overcoming adversity and accomplishing what was never thought to be possible (a Hanukkah miracle, one might say). It’s all about the boys basketball team of a Hebrew academy in Philadelphia with a dream to beat their school’s rivals and sweep the championship tournament — and their search for their “Judah Maccabee” of a coach to help get the job done. Plus, considering it’s a Disney Channel Original Movie (or DCOM, for all of us ’90s kids), you know it’s a gem.
“Saturday Night Live” – Season 15, episode 9
Yes, we’re including yet another episode of “Saturday Night Live,” but just because we can’t leave out the episode that established “Hanukkah Harry” as the Santa Claus equivalent for all of the Jewish kids out there. Again, this episode isn’t entirely Hanukkah-themed, but you’ll surely be feeling all the warmth and excitement that the holiday brings after watching Hanukkah Harry save Christmas.
If you’re still in the Chrismukkah spirit after watching Seth Cohen and his family celebrate the holiday in “The Best Chrismukkah Ever,” “Little Fockers” is the obvious choice in your continuation of a Hanukkah media marathon. Two families, one Hanukkah-celebrating, the other Christmas-celebrating, get together for the holidays, and well, chaos ensues.
“Friends” – “The One With the Holiday Armadillo”
Vaguely similar to “Saturday Night Live’s” “Hanukkah Harry,” Ross’s “Holiday Armadillo” yet again addresses the lack of a Hanukkah mascot to get kids (and adults) into the spirit of the holiday. So, to introduce his son, Ben, to the Festival of Lights, Ross creates a mascot of his own, the Holiday Armadillo, to show Ben what Hanukkah is really all about.
Chloe Lelchuk is the blog editor. Contact Chloe Lelchuk at [email protected].