It's Chanukah eve. No, that doesn’t count as part of the holiday, but to gear up for the eight crazily early nights in December, there are a few things you should be aware of. When thinking of the truly great drinking peoples of the world, Jews are rarely at the top of the charts, but that’s just of one of many misconceptions about the tribe. Manischewitz is the alcoholic equivalent of tic tacs, and Jews toast with it for eight nights, everyone at the table deceived by its sweetness until, blam, they’re singing songs and dancing. Christmas songs are carols of joy or sorrow, but Chanukah songs are upbeat Klezmer grooveathons and not all by Lenny Kravitz. Everyone up and about until macaroons, cake, and RING JELLS THE GREATEST DESSERT are served, and then, and only then does it slow down. And then again the next night seven more times.
It’s the festival of lights—basically a latke-laden rave.
Here’s the 5 best Chanukah drinking games.
1. Spin the Jaegerdreidel
Instead of clay, fill your dreidels with Jaeger and whoever it spins closest to drinks the contents. Chase with your choice of Gold Star or Manischewitz and voila. You’ll be blintzed out of your mind.
2. Every time someone at your family dinner says, “shame, wonderful, “I can’t believe it,” amen, pass, brisket, your mother, wild, “I think undercooked the meat,” “she was such a nice girl,” “it’s not exactly Stephen Tyler,” or “did you use any Brylcream?”" Take a swig of that red grape elixir. Good times follow.
3. Hebrew History Hopscotch
Draw out a time line of the Jewish people and think of all the Jews who really needed a drink in history. Then toast to each one accordingly. Use this with extreme caution, as it may result in hospitalization.
4. Make the board game, “Moses down the River.”
This is somewhat like the boardgame Life, but Hebrew-themed. You roll a die to move your manger down the river, safely through danger to the doorstep. Each square you draw a chance card. Along the way, you may encounter angry Pharoahs, snakes, divine plagues, floating jagged chariot wheels, sea otters, and papyrus recipes for ancient Egyptian wheat snacks. For every tile you safely pass, toast to it.
5. Mel Brooks Movie-thon
For each laugh, one drink. Also may cause hospitalization.
And there you have it. With incentives like these, even the Pope will try a little gefilte fish.