There are plenty of Christmas specials out the wazoo, but there are more holidays in December than just Christmas. Coincidentally, as a kid the only specials I remember watching that had anything to do with Hanukkah or Kwanzaa were made by the same show, Rugrats on Nickelodeon.
Rugrats was a personal favorite show of mine growing up, and with the revival of the series announced earlier this year, I’d thought now would be a good time to look back at their holiday specials. I’m not actually Jewish, so I don’t celebrate Hanukkah. But ever since I learned about the story behind the holiday, I’ve had a mild fascination with the holiday. Plus, I think driedels look like a lot of fun! So, here’s my look back at the Rugrats Chanukkah.
The babies, being babies, don’t really understand the meaning behind Chanukah. They take one look at the Menorah, how Tommy get’s presents every night, and their conclusion: it’s HIS BIRTHDAY! To be fair, that does have some logic to it from a kid’s point of view.
The whole special is about the kids learning the meaning of Chanukah, though they are, at first distracted. So is Grandpa Boris: his childhood rival, Shlomo is playing the role of King Antioch, and when the Rugrats hear Boris complain about him, they decide they need to beat the “meany of Hanukkah”
As for Angelica… I don’t really care about Angelica. I never really liked her, because she’s mean and bossy all the time. She also personifies the kid at Christmas: she doesn’t give two cents about Hanukkah, she just wants to watch a dumb Christmas special. Then she enlists the Babies in order to do that at the Synagogue.
Eventually, all the plots come together as Boris and Shlomo resolve their rivalry and the babies (and Angelica) learn about the meaning of Hanukkah.
I honestly liked this special as a kid. It was different from the other Holiday Specials that I had been seeing, it was about something new, and I appreciated it for it. For the life of me, I cannot think of any other Hanukkah Special that was on for me as a kid to watch. As an adult, I can appreciate even more, because, and this sounds really corny, the holidays are universal. No matter what religion you are, this should be the time of year when we together and celebrate and have fun. So, to all my readers, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Holidays.