Channukah commercialism

Scroll down the page for this year’s seasonal special offers from Gabriel Festive Innovations Plc.

If you do a Google search for the phrase eight branches you come up with a variety of interesting web-pages. One contains the fascinating information that the Rugby and District Beekeepers Association is “one of eight branches of the Warwickshire Beekeepers Association.” (Presumably affiliated to the Maccabeekeepers Association?)


But obviously the most appropriate results come up when one searches Google Images: yes, it’s that time of year again! The Doctor Who Channukah Special is about to air. Her Maj is about to make her Channukah speech. And everywhere you go, groups of Scouts singing Channukah carols adorn street corners.

It’s also a time of year for capitalism-gone-mad, commercial enterprises aplenty and a good helping of useful and not-so-useful Channukah catalogues and gifts on offer. And so it is time to present the 2011 selection of

gabriel festive innovations for blog

Festive vips

And what else can no festival do without? Of course, it’s a series of handy video-tips (or vips, as I like to call them) on how to make it seem even more exciting!

A Great Miracle Happened Here (in Sussex…)

It wouldn't actually light, but then it wasn't actually Channukah at the time!

Rabbi Zalman of the South Coast Chabad brought his giant travelling channukiah to the Sussex University Library Square, as well as six brimming trays of Grodz’s doughnuts and abundant numbers of sweet children to hand them out to unsuspecting students. At one point he sent me to his car to fetch another batch of doughnuts; I asked how I’d know which car was his. “Oh you’ll recognise it,” quoth the rabbi. And indeed I did…

The news in brief

Sussex University’s Residential Services Manager wins this week’s Sympathetic Listening Ear Prize for her letter denying me compensation for being left without heating and hot water for over four days. Here’s her explanation of why I’m not due a penny:


However, after receiving a second snotty letter, she did have the grace to change her mind!

The Telegraph showed a dogged pursuit of hard news on Thursday last week:

In other news, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has announced that “women are to be allowed to serve on Royal Navy submarines,” although he hasn’t yet confirmed exactly what it is that they’ll be serving – drinks, bar snacks, meals…?

And finally, for a nice little Webber family vignette to round off 2011!

DAD: “Every time SeeTickets emails me, it ends up in the spam folder.” / ME: “Yeah, you can set them not to.” / DAD: “No, I don’t actually want them.” / MUM: “I think dad should end up in your blog!”


Just in case I’m too busy shovelling snow to post again until Sussex Volume II in January…


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