Tree Star – Hanukkah Tree Topper

tree starIf you want to put some Mazel Tov in your Christmas decor, the Hanukkah Tree Topper is just the ticket. Created by the interfaith husband and wife team of Morri and Marina Chowalki for the one million or so Jewish/Christian families in the USA, the Hanukkah Tree Topper brings the faiths together with its shmaltzy yet functional design.

The origins of the Christmas Tree come from 15th century Germany when Christians brought evergreen trees into their homes and decorated them, often with fruit and nuts. In the 19th century, the custom of the Christmas tree grew worldwide and placing an angel or tree star on top became commonplace.

Fast forward to the 21st century and the Christmas Tree is a ubiquitous symbol of the season. With more faiths intermingling in modern times, previously faith-based customs like Christmas Trees are becoming individual symbols of a family’s faith (and in many cases – style). To cater to the growing need for a bissel of Hanukkah on the tree, the Chowalki’s created a Star of David tree star as a nod to to Jews and gentiles in the same family. No baleboste should be without one!

My Take on the Hanukkah Tree Star

When I was a kid, we had a silver tree star on top of our tree. For years, I begged my parents to get a tree star with blinking lights, but my mother wouldn’t have it. Now that I have a home of my own, I have a slightly tacky and garish blinking light tree star like I always wanted. My mother thinks I’m a bit meshugener for my tree topper tastes, but I like my star!

We actually have a Star of David on our Christmas Tree. It’s made out of popsicle sticks and it’s covered with silver glitter. One of my daughters made it in pre-school and it hangs on our tree every year. A lot of our ornaments are home-made goodies the kids made when they were younger. One of the best parts of decorating the tree is pulling out some of the kids’ old ornaments and re-living the stories that go with them. Another tradition we have with our tree is we always buy an ornament when we travel and we ask friends and family to do the same. We have ornaments from all over the world!

As for the Hanukkah Tree Topper, I personally wouldn’t get one for our tree, unless one of my kids brought home a Jewish spouse. Under those circumstances we’d go for it just to say “hey, you’re mishpocheh now!” I do think a lot of interfaith families would buy one though and the Chowalki’s are on to something.

Will the Sharks Like this Spiel?

Mark Cuban is Jewish, I believe his wife Tiffany is not, so the Chowalki’s have a Shark that will identify with the need they’re filling on the panel. Cuban might invest in them for their chutzpah or because he thinks their tree star is a nice tchatchke. The only other Shark who might bite is Lori, just because the Hanukkah Tree Topper could sell on QVC. What’s going cause a glitch for the Chowalkis is the seasonality of the product and the limited market. They’ll get good exposure in the Tank and undoubtedly sell a bunch of product as a result, but the Sharks will have them saying “Oy Vey!”

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

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