CANADA – As November nears its conclusion, stores both big and small across the nation have begun preparing for the massive Hanukkah crowds.
“Oh yes, it’s far and away the busiest time of the year,” said Linda Crosby, a Toys R Us manager in Kingston. “I can’t think of anything in December that drives consumers more than celebrating the 2nd century BCE Maccabean revolution against the Seleucid Empire and the rededication of the Holy Temple.”
Each year, between late-November and December, Canada is locked in the grip of Hanukkah. Stretching from British Columbia all the way to Newfoundland, the Jewish festival of lights dominates displays and inventory in nearly every store.
“This year is going to be nuts. You can feel it in the air,” said Sudbury general store owner, Alan Forte. “I doubled my stock this month and I’m still not sure if it’s enough for Sudbury’s entire Jewish community.”
“I don’t even celebrate Hanukkah. My family and I usually just get Chinese food and see the year’s big Hanukkah blockbuster.”
However, not all welcome the Hanukkah season with enthusiasm.
“I know this’ll make me sound like a real King Antiochus but sometimes Hanukkah is too much for me. I just wish they’d give us some time to adjust. Every year, like clockwork, the Menorahs go up the day after Halloween,” said shopper Louis Bernard. “And those obnoxious Hanukkah songs that play non-stop in every single mall. It’s awful. Although I do love that one ditty about the dreidel.”
Generally, Canada’s retailers are excited by the prospect of yet another successful Hanukkah shopping onslaught, although some worry they won’t be able to restock fully for several weeks.
“I just hope we’ll have enough in store for that other holiday in December,” said Best Buy manager, Donald Thomas. “What’s it called again? Kwanzaa?”