This time of year, every year since I was a kid, I get extremely irritated by attempts to make Hanukkah into some sort of Jewish Christmas or Jewish Dewali.
So tiresome to hear of Hanukkah portrayed, mostly by ultra-liberal Jews, as "the Festival of Lights." Some sort of holiday to spread peace, joy, and cheer to one and all.
Hanukkah ain't that at all. It's about picking up a sword, and killing the foreign oppressor AND killing those of your own who have sold out to the foreign oppressor. The Maccabees were warriors, not spreaders of love and peace. They rose up against the Seleucid empire, but also mostly against those "Hellenized" Jews, who backed the Seleucid rulers and their attempt to eradicate the Jewish faith. The revolt was a long-shot affair, led by the Maccabee family. The Maccabees, however, eventually defeated the Seleucids, and restored their right to practice the Jewish faith. The Maccabees also proved true to Jewish history in another way: once they became victorious they began fighting among themselves, but that's another story. The Romans eventually moved in, and the rest, well, you know the rest.
Anyhow, we in the West might do with a little more of the original Maccabee spirit as we see our societies colonized from within and without.
A little less peace and goodwill, and more "This We'll Defend."
With that said, Merry Christmas to all.