Is keeping the tradition of the Chanukiah akin to keeping the “tradition” of Santa Claus.
First lets look at tradition, according to Merriam Webster tradition is defined as : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable.
Now when we apply this definition to both the Miracle of Oil and the story of Santa Claus, can anyone honestly argue that people believe Santa lives in the North pole, travels to all the boys and girls, hands out presents… I don’t think so.
But I think we can argue that though the miracle wasn’t recorded in the the book of Maccabees, it is definitely possible when given that G-d has performed this type of miracle in the canonized Bible, the loaves and fishes, the woman with the jar of oil and enough flour to make a cake of bread.
Also when those Believers keep Christmas with the tradition of Santa Claus, they are not magnifying G-d through this practice, but this long dead Saint.
When those who keep Hanukah retell this miracle they are magnifying the most high, making Him greater in teh eyes of the children. Can this be wrong?
This excerpt taken from Holy Days vs Holidays:
Since the Jews added the feasts of Purim (the origins of which are described in the book of Esther) and Hanukkah, otherwise known as the Feast of Lights or Feast of Dedication (mentioned in John 10:22-23), some believe we are free to add any religious holidays and celebrations of our own choosing. Is this true?
Important differences in the background and intent of these observances are obvious when we compare them to Christmas, Easter and Halloween. The Jews instituted Purim to commemorate their deliverance during the time of Esther, and Hanukkah to celebrate the rededication of the Jerusalem temple after its defilement by the Syrian invader Antiochus Epiphanes.
Neither celebration originated in paganism, although over the centuries these celebrations have taken on some practices, like the Hanukkah bush, that are rooted in paganism.
In their original form, Hanukkah and Purim, like the American holiday of Thanksgiving, are celebrations of thanks and honor to God for His intervention and blessings. The way some Americans celebrate Thanksgiving is far removed from the original intent, but that does not alter the real meaning and significance of the day.
An important distinction between acceptable holidays and those rooted in paganism (like Christmas and Easter) is that they do not alter, replace or distort the meaning of a festival of God or other biblical truths.