“Happy Hanukkah to you too!” is the common response many people give when a Jewish person wishes them good tidings on this special holiday, while a simple “Thank you!” is okay when you are Jewish and the person wishing you Happy Hanukkah isn’t.
But there are other sweet ways to exchange words of blessing on this special occasion than the bland “thank you” or “same to you”
Hanukkah is a celebration held to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, as it brings eight nights of good vibes and warmth to your family and loved ones.
On this special occasion, someone might say, “Happy Hanukkah to you.” In such a situation, even if you’re a gentile, you may be thinking really hard about a befitting reply to give.
I understand how it feels to become the clueless schlemiel during holidays like this and that is why I have put together a list of different sweet things you can say to your Jewish friends, family, and coworkers when they wish you “Happy Hanukkah”
“Thank you! Do have a warm and joyous Festival of Light.”
The central theme of this commemoration is the miracle of light that occurred when Judah rededicated the Temple to the Hebrew god.
The festival celebrates and commemorates how the oil burned miraculously for eight days after it was lit by the Maccabees for their victory over the Greeks.
So giving this reply is a reflection of your knowledge and reverence for the occasion, as well as a wish for the well-wisher. In Hebrew, the festival of lights is called “Chag ha-ooorem”
“Same to you. The Hanukkah lights find you and your loved ones.”
The lights that are lit on Hanukkah represent the miraculous oil that was discovered in the temple.
So this is another sweet way to respond when someone wishes you Happy Hanukkah instead of blandly saying “thank you.”
It means you are wishing for the person to experience a miracle as well, along with his or her loved ones, by the celebration at hand.
“Wishing you warmth and light this Hanukkah season.”
When someone wishes you a happy Hanukkah, you can use this response to express your warmest thoughts. You can also scribble this response as a heartfelt Happy Hanukkah card message for your family, friends, and colleagues.
It is a remark that reflects your friendliness, kindness, and affection towards the well-wisher and expresses such in light of the occasion.
“I wish you a Hanukkah full of miracles, <insert name>.”
When almost everyone around me is saying “Happy Hanukkah” to me and it appears that I’ve expressed all of my THANK YOUs, I sometimes resort to this response.
It is a good way to tie together the relationship between the reason for the season and the wish you have for the person greeting you.
We know that Hanukkah is a festival to commemorate a miracle, and now you are standing on that idea to wish your greeter well.
“Wishing you lots of love and latkes!”
The Hanukkah holiday provides an excellent opportunity to indulge in delectable treats such as ufganiyah and latkes.
Latkes are potato pancakes that families prepare at home in light of this celebration, and it is a good thing to infuse that in your greetings.
To put it in another creative way, you can say you wish them lots of love, hugs, and gelt (chocolate coins).
The idea behind this reply is that you are highlighting some of the joyous things to live for as far as this celebration goes.
“Happy Hanukkah to you too. I hope each of the eight nights of Hanukkah is filled with light.”
The eight candles you see during this festive season represent the number of days that the temple lantern was lit.
As we light the menorahs, we are commemorating the miracle, and this reply fits well with the entire idea of the celebration.
“Of course, wishing you a joyous Hanukkah.”
Even though you have a vague idea of what the celebration is all about, this reply can always sound befitting whenever someone wishes you Happy Hanukkah.
It is a good way to say you wish them well and will join them in the celebration. It is a good time to subscribe to the blessings and miracles that flow from the memorial occasion and then celebrate with joy.
“I wish you prosperity, love, and laughter.”
This response may sound too general, but it also fits well with the Hanukkah celebration because love, laughter, and prosperity are part of the theme of the holiday season.
It is a time to spread love, joy, and wishes for miracles while observing the lightning rites.
“Happy Hanukkah, let’s remain steadfast in the wonder of God.”
The Jewish holiday season is a moment to spread love and joy and also tease around the preparation of special delicacies and games to be played.
But you can also take some time to reply to a happy Hanukkah message by instilling a few words of encouragement in line with the theme of the festival.
You are encouraging your well-wishers to believe in the miraculous power to change the course of our lives for the better with this response.
“On the path to your happiness, may light shine on you all the time. Happy Hanukkah to you too”
One of the easiest ways to wish someone well on any given occasion is to throw in a short prayer.
This response helps you convey a short prayer message to your loved ones while you both exchange pleasantries over the festival of lights.
“May this holiday season bring you abundance and love”
Again, as you respond to the Happy Hanukkah message, you can convey this short prayer in the hopes that God will remember and protect them.
It is a prayer for a miracle that they experience abundance, which is one of the central themes around the commemoration of Hanukkah.
There are numerous ways to wish someone well during a holiday season such as Hanukkah, as well as numerous ways to respond.
This particular one is a blessing message, and if you can remember it often, it works all the time no matter the age or relationship you have with the person wishing you a happy Hanukkah.
“Same to you. May we never forget the miracle of Hanukkah.”
I specifically love the flexibility of this response, as it works for almost any scenario.
Whether it is Hanukkah or another milestone celebration in the Jewish calendar, you can simply substitute “Hanukkah” in this response with the name of the holiday at hand when using this response.
“I wish you a joyous eight-day festival!”
It is public knowledge that the Hanukkah festival stretches for eight days to commemorate the miracle that happened in the temple thousands of years ago.
So even though you don’t know much about the festival, you can always use this response when someone wishes you a happy Hanukkah so that your reply isn’t bland.
It is a befitting reply to use when you are wished a happy Hanukkah on the first day of the entire eight days, where we lit the first candle
…with the shammash. (a helper candle.)
“I wish you the rewards of perseverance.”
The themes of the Hanukkah holiday include human action, courage, divine miracles, and liberation from oppression. The story behind this commemoration spells out the reward of human perseverance.
So this response is to show you have a knowledge of the essence of the celebration and you are expressing your best wishes to the greeter.
After saying this response, you can second it with a general seasonal greeting to convey affection and goodwill. You could say, “may the season of love, light, and happiness not elude your household.”
During the Hanukkah Festival of Lights, we light the menorah, recite blessings, and enjoy foods like jelly-filled donuts (ufganiyah) and potato pancakes (latkes), which is my favorite.
I also like that this special holiday allows us to enjoy symbolic games like the spinning top which we call dreidel.
The celebration is to remind ourselves that the task of being light in the darkness is placed on our shoulders.
When someone wishes you Happy Hanukkah, the above replies will come in handy when you wish to go beyond the basic “Happy Hanukkah” greeting.
I have also listed the above reply alternatives to help you add more personality to your response and leave a lasting impression on the well-wisher.
It’s a joyous holiday, so there is no harm in being a little creative in your responses.