46 Thoughts I Had While Watching ‘Love, Lights, Hanukkah!’

I didn’t grow up celebrating Hanukkah with all that much fervor, but I’ve really thrown myself into the holiday as an adult, probably because I A) like fire and B) like being given things. Imagine my joy, then, when I found out I had somehow missed a Hallmark Hanukkah movie released last year, and starring none other than Mia Kirshner, a.k.a. Jennifer Diane Schecter from The L Word. The plot centers around Mia’s character finding out she’s Jewish via an ancestry DNA test, and I, personally, cannot wait to dive in. Chag sameach!

  1. OMG, Jenny all grown up and presumably straight and in a peacoat!
  2. This crazy girlie is buying not one, not two, but three wreaths.
  3. LOL, JK, it’s four.
  4. Aw, Jenny (I’m not going to learn her character’s name) lost her mom and has drowned her sorrows in Christmas decorating, as one does.
  5. I want those Santa earrings.
  6. She’s a chef! Classic Hallmark-movie protagonist job.
  7. Jenny is doing a DNA test to find out more about her background, which is cool, but also please don’t do this.
  8. I’m sorry, eating dinner alone while listening to Christmas carols is objectively sad. Throw on some HGTV and save the music for the bath, babe!
  9. I had a brief, shining moment of thinking this woman in Jenny’s house was her wife, but unfortunately I think it’s her roommate.
  10. She’s…50% Jewish! Wouldn’t it say “Ashkenazi” or “Sephardic”? (Not to be too technical about it.)
  11. Jenny’s worried about learning a “whole other holiday,” and I feel like I need to give a PSA here that Hanukkah is probably the lowest-effort Jewish holiday. Candles, dreidels, latkes, sufganiyot (a.k.a. jelly donuts), done!
  12. A relative from the DNA site wants to meet Jenny, presumably to teach her the miracle of the Festival of Lights.
  13. Hmm, the relatives are cute fellow restaurateurs doing a special Hanukkah menu, and bringing in a food critic to help them figure it out.
  14. Wow, the food critic is a cute guy who gave Jenny’s restaurant a mid review! I wonder if they’ll kiss…
  15. Wait, that’s not just some guy. That’s BEN SAVAGE!
  16. Oh, hell yeah, Jenny’s new relative’s mom is played by Marilu Henner, character actress of my heart.
  17. When a man in a Hallmark movie tells you he’s sticking around for the holidays and asks, “Is that going to be a problem?” you know it’s on.
  18. Oh, are these girls long-lost sisters???????
  19. Very natural line of throwaway dialogue: “Well, thanks for sharing that story with us, it was amazing.”
  20. Yep, Marilu Henner gave Jenny up for adoption during a whirlwind marriage in Italy. Classique.
  21. Ooh, subplot romance for the roommate!
  22. I’m obsessed with the Vaseline-rubbed filter they film these movies through.
  23. Jenny makes Ben Savage lasagna (the one he scorned in his review) and tells him about her mom.
  24. Oh, God, he loves “cross-cultural cooking.”
  25. I respect the drinking-red-wine-at-lunch hustle. ’Tis the season, right?
  26. I love that every flirty doorstep goodbye in a Hallmark movie takes 30 minutes to execute.
  27. Hanukkah story time! Rugrats did it better, but TBH, it is kind of sweet to hear Hebrew prayers in a Hallmark movie.
  28. Ooh, brisket.
  29. “Which one is the kugel?” Jenny asks, in classic goyishe-queen fashion.
  30. Kind of obsessed with this Jewish/Italian food crossover, given that I, myself, am an Italian/Jewish crossover.
  31. Okay, Jenny’s new sister and mom yente-ing out about her flirtation with Ben Savage is very real.
  32. I’m sorry, Ben has one dish to make to impress Jenny, and he chooses…noodle kugel? Come on, man. It’s not even a top-20 Jewish food, IMO.
  33. Like, you could have made latkes!
  34. Or the aforementioned sufganiyot!
  35. Or tsimmes!
  36. Or challah!
  37. Okay, I’ll stop.
  38. Do children still make snowmen IRL? Did they ever?
  39. “Making latkes is actually pretty simple”?????? Clearly, whoever wrote that line has never grated off half their hand trying to get the potatoes ready.
  40. Jenny’s biological mom (who’s a widow, BTW) reunites via phone with her long-lost Italian ex, and it’s quite sweet.
  41. Okay, I’ll give this line Jewish-authenticity points: “Stressing about a brisket is how I avoid my feelings.”
  42. OMG, Ben Savage is teaching Jenny the Hanukkah prayers 🙂
  43. Ben asks Jenny out, but she turns him down because he’s leaving for a long international trip after the holidays (and, to be fair, she has a lot going on!).
  44. Oh, his trip is only six weeks? Get over it, Jenny.
  45. KISS!
  46. Ugh, I’m embarrassed to admit I loved that.