Mathin Thanksgivukkah in Palo Alto

Something very special happened this year and that hasn’t happened since the year 1888. What’s happening, you might ask. It’s Thanksgivukkah! A menorah to celebrate Hanukkah in Palo Alto

Thanksgivukkah is the name of the merge of two very important and fun holidays – Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. Thanksgiving is an American holiday and Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday. Usually, Hanukkah overlaps with Christmas, but this year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving will be on the same day. The reason the name Thanksgivukkah was created was so people wouldn’t have to choose between celebrating one or the other, they can celebrate both!


A turkey for celebrating Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

A turkey for celebrating Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

Some Ideas on How to Celebrate Thanksgivukkah in Palo Alto

  1. Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving dinner feature a meat meal. This means you can either create a delicious turkey, or go with a different type of meat, like chicken.
  2. On Hanukkah, you usually eat potato latkes. On Thanksgiving, you usually eat sweet potato. Thus, you can merge the two together to make sweet potato latkes.
  3. For stuffing, instead of doing the traditional corn bread stuffing, try using Challah bread.
  4. Lastly, for dessert, since the traditional Thanksgiving dessert features some sort of pie and the traditional Hanukkah dinner features jelly filled donuts, you can just merge the two together. Make donuts filled with pumpkin or apple!

Mathin’ Thanksgivukkah for Palo Alto Children

Thanksgivukkah isn’t just a fun holiday, it is also a great way to add some math to your Palo Alto child’s day.

  1. Your parents made a delicious turkey that will serve 8 people. If only 5 people are celebrating Thanksgivukkah with you, how many servings of turkey can each person get (assuming that you finish the turkey on Thanksgivukkah)
  2. You are playing the driedal game with your sister. Right now, your sister has 30 pieces of gelt and you have 26 pieces of gelt. How many more pieces of gelt do both of you guys need to get to 50 pieces of gelt each?
  3. Hanukkah lasts for 8 days. Each night, you and your family light the menorah. If it takes you 30 seconds to light each candle (there are 8 candles total), and each candle burns for 4 hours, how long until all the candles are burned out?
  4. Instead of merging the Hanukkah and Thanksgiving desserts together, your mom decided to make many separate desserts. She made apple pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, jelly filled donuts, and bought chocolate coins. If your mom said you can only have a slice from 2 of the three pies, and can only have either jelly filled donuts or chocolate coins, how many different combinations of dessert do you have?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at!


Mathin’ Thanksgiving in Palo Alto

A Brief History

A painting of the original Thanksgiving Feast

A painting of the original Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is a fabulous holiday! It all started in 1621 when the Pilgrims and Puritans arrived at Plymouth Colony. There was a total of 101 people who came all the way from England. Once they arrived, the very friendly Native American leader helped the settlers by teaching them to grow corn, fertilize the land, and to fish. One day during the fall time, the settlers were preparing to have a harvest celebration. They hunted food and prepared a beautiful feast. Kindly, they invited the Native Americans to join them. After they ate, they played ball games, sang, and danced together. Two years later, in 1623, the settlers made the harvest celebration into a somewhat religious holiday that we call Thanksgiving. If you want more information, you can read it from National Geographic’s website about the First Thanksgiving.

Math and Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving dinner

A Thanksgiving dinner

Thanks giving is a perfect way to improve your Palo Alto child’s math skills. Here are some example problems.

Elementary School:

Mary baked 3 pumpkin pies on Monday. On Tuesday she baked 4 apples pies. On Wednesday she baked 3 pecan pies.

  1. How many pies did she bake in total?
  2. What fraction of the pies is pumpkin pie? What fraction is apple pie? What fraction is pecan pies?
  3. If Mary cut each pie into 6 slices. How many total slices are there?
  4. If you eat a slice of each pie? How many slices of pie is left?
  5. There are 10 pies and each pie serves 6 people. How many people will the pies feed?

Middle School:

  1. In 1623, the pilgrims made 30 pounds of food. Now, in 2013, your family made 20 kilograms of food. Who made more food?
  2. Your family of 5 loves pie. The day after Thanksgiving, only 1/4 of the pie is left. If everyone wants a slice, what fraction of the TOTAL pie will each person get?
  3. You started baking pies a week before Thanksgiving. You baked 3 pies everyday and until Thanksgiving day. Your friend started baking pies 4 days before Thanksgiving. Each day, your friend made 4 pies and stopped baking on Thanksgiving day. How much did each person make? Who made more pie?


  1. There will be 10 people at your Thanksgiving party (including you and your family). How many different ways can you seat each person?

For more information about Mathnasium of Palo Alto-Menlo Park and other unique word problems, visit our website at!