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December 02, 1994 - Image 135

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.



uia e

Chantikah
Countdown

What does an "early"
holiday mean to families
and retailers?

LISA SOLOMON

SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

is coming as a surprise to a lot
of people.
Chanukah generally falls
in mid-December. This year,
Chanukah starts at sundown on
November 27, the Sunday after
Thanksgiving. Eight days lat-
er, on Monday, December 5, it
ends.

ILLUSTRATION BY BOB LYNCH

The last time Chanukah arrived so
early was in 1975, when the first night
was November 28. Chanukah is ear-
ly this year because it is the end of a
19-year cycle. Dates for the Jewish
calendar vary because the Hebrew cal-
endar is based on a lunar year of 354
days, compared to the solar year of
365 days. If left uncorrected, Jewish
holidays would fall approxi-
mately 11 days earlier each
year. Eventually, Passover
would occur in winter and
Sukkot in July. In order to
keep the holidays in their ap-
propriate seasons, an extra
month—Adar II—is inserted
seven times within each 19-
year cycle.
What happens when the
Festival of Lights comes so
early? Is it good for busi-
ness? Does it change
family celebrations?
Shelley Bosch-
an, of West Bloom-
field, likes to
celebrate each holi-
day separately and
notes that Chanukah
is falling a little close
to Thanksgiving, but
she is glad.
"We try to have a
Chanukah party with the
family each year, but for the
past several years both my
parents and my husband's
parents have not been able
to attend because they have
already left for Florida." This
year they will all be able to cel-
ebrate together, and they are
really looking forward to it. Ms.
Boschan realizes she will have to be
more organized to get her shopping
done, but she said, "for me, an early
Chanukah, doesn't happen often
enough."
When asked how her four children,
ranging in ages from three through
sixteen, will feel once Christmas
comes around, she responded that
it is a non-issue. "My children attend
a Jewish day school, so they get a
lot of exposure to their holidays all
year." She also said that around
Christmas time, she and her husband

Jim travel to Florida with the chil- .
dren, and they don't focus on Christ-
mas at all.
Like the Boschan family, many pa-
trons of The Somerset Collection in
Troy travel in the winter. "Our shop-
pers buy early because many of them
travel or move to Florida for the win-
ter. An early Chanukah will not have
much effect on our business," said Sal-
ly Victor, marketing director of The
Somerset Collection. She also men-
tioned that the mall has business from
loyal clientele throughout the year
with a predictable swing in Novem-
ber and December.

•• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

welve Oaks Mall
general manager
Philip Morosco
believes that a certain
portion of holiday buying is
occurring earlier and earlier
every year.

Twelve Oaks mall general manag-
er Philip Morosco also said,that a cer-
tain portion of holiday buying is
occurring earlier and earlier. "I pre-
fer as much business as early as pos-
sible because it makes a more
pleasant shopping experience for
everyone," he said. He added that
Chanukah shoppers this year will be
able to take advantage of the Thanks-
giving weekend sales.
Other retailers feel that Chanukah
and Christmas will be two separate
selling opportunities this year and
that will increase business.
Nancy Bossov, director of Jewish
family education of the Council on
Jewish Education Services in Balti-
more, sees a plus in having Chanukah
and Christmas so far apart. She
notes that the "parallel" that some
people, Jewish and Christian, perceive
between Chanukah and Christmas
will be harder to maintain this
year. ❑

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