Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko and Deputy Supervisor Kathleen Walsh...

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Mark Lesko and Deputy Supervisor Kathleen Walsh helped light the Shamash - the center candle of the menorah - during Hanukkah festivities Wednesday night. Credit: Erin Geismar

I read the annual holiday programming roundup, "More the merrier" [Fanfare, Nov. 27], with lots of trepidation, as I always do. Once again, my trepidation was "rewarded" by the fact that there is nothing in the lineup of holiday shows having to do with Hanukkah.

Please, don't tell me about "The O.C." and its four episodes of "Chrismukkah," blending Hanukkah and Christmas. That is ridiculous.

Over the many years of television, we have had shows featuring just about every type of character imaginable: white, black, Asian, WASP, gay, straight, even transgender. And yes, there have been Jewish characters here and there. But it seems their presence is always used as a plot device.

You would think that in 2011, those who create TV shows would think that a normal, everyday Jewish family would be permissible on the schedule. Not a family that is the result of a mixed marriage, not a family that is wrestling with their Jewishness. Just one that is your normal, everyday family that just happens to be Jewish.

And around this time of year, of course, it gets even worse. A Newsday TV story a few years ago lumped Hanukkah in with other celebrations and called it "a seasonal celebratory alternative." It's that type of thinking that makes this time of year so difficult for Jewish families who are proud of who and what they are.

Why is Hanukkah not celebrated on television like Christmas? I am not saying that it should be celebrated on the same scale, but just recognized, which it isn't at all.

And let's look at the music of the season. I enjoy the modern-day Christmas songs as much as anybody, but why do the likes of Carly Simon, Barry Manilow, Carole King, Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond record Christmas albums? Why don't they celebrate their own experiences?

Larry Lapka, Massapequa Park

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