PARIS: One year, I asked my mother if we could get a Hanukkah bush. She made me watch Shoah the rest of the week.
A Hanukkah bush is a bush or tree (real or artificial) that some Jewish families in North America display in their homes for the duration of Hanukkah. It may, for all intents and purposes, be a Christmas tree with Jewish-themed ornaments.
It is a bone of contention between Jews as to whether it is a distinctly Jewish symbol, or whether it is simply a variation of a Christmas tree. Many rabbis discourage them. The phrase “Hanukkah bush” is not serious, and generally meant to be a tongue in cheek way to say that a Jewish family is following some pleasant secular Christmas traditions without celebrating Christmas itself.
The documentary film Shoah, previously discussed. Paris’ mother obviously takes a fairly hard line approach to Hanukkah bushes.