The Cost of Hanukkah: Almost Nothing

The cheapest, easiest holiday of the year is now officially over. Here’s what it cost me.

When “Home For The Holidays” Means Your Home: The First Friendsgiving

I’d never cooked a turkey or made stuffing in my life, but I figured it was nothing the Internet couldn’t teach me how to do.

Ending Gift-Giving in My Family

It all started last year, when our Christmas Eve gift exchange suddenly got Grinched.

A Tradition of Departing and Returning

At the end of every December, a week before the real holiday madness begins to unfold, I pack my bags, give out a loud “See ya later, New York!” and hightail it out of America for a month, attempting with all of my might to avoid another frigid winter for as long as possible.

Losing the Familiarity of What We Used to Call Home

In 2011, when I arrive at my parents’ house in Pittsburgh for the last time before they move across the country, I find wardrobe boxes in my old bedroom. In the kitchen, new appliances (toaster, faucet) have appeared, and the second floor bathrooms—tiny sinks; fifties tile—long ago merged into one spacious room, whose shower doesn’t take a year to heat up in winter. It’s as though the house knows my parents are leaving, and is shedding evidence of their presence plate by plate, wall-hanging by wall-hanging.

Grandpa and His $2 Bills

My grandpa collected $2 bills. We’d get them from him in birthday cards and at Christmas, and as my cousins and I got older, the dollar amounts grew and I had nearly forgotten about the tradition and how exciting it was to have currency so seldom seen in circulation.

When Christmas Doesn’t Feel the Same

The Poverty-Stricken Half-Jewish Brooklyn Christmases Of Our Youth

I didn’t really understand the import of the food pantries and the free gift grab bags at the church, but I could sense the desperation of my mom’s situation.

When the Holidays Aren’t Really Your Thing

A Bridge and Tunnel Holiday

There’s a phrase some city kids use to describe the suburban teenagers that flock to New York City on weekends: “bridge-and-tunnel kids.” It means uncool, unwelcome, poser, trying too hard. City kids head to subway stations and bus stops at the end of the night, but the B&T crowd retreats to the uncompromising fluorescent light of Penn Station to wait for the next train home.