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Hanukkah Begins: A Lesson From The Holiday Armadillo On 'Friends' 

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Dec 08, 2012 | 6:19am EST

2012HolidayBackButton651.jpgALTHappy Hanukkah! Yes, today marks the first day of the Jewish holiday and while it may seem like Christmas gets to have all the fun, what with the decorations...and the songs...and the movies...and the TV specials...and the general unavoidable merriment surrounding the holiday that technically starts around late August. 

But don't feel bad for Hanukkah, friends. We still have the dreidel! And those chocolate gold coins! And delicious latkes. Plus, it's actually had some pretty great moments in pop culture, too. (And no, Adam Sandler's animated dreck Eight Crazy Nights is not one of them.) 
Over the next — you guessed it — eight days, we'll be counting down our favorite Hanukkah moments, starting today with Ross (David Schwimmer) as the elusive, educational Holiday Armadillo on Friends
The Season 10 episode, aptly titled "The One With the Holiday Armadillo", like The O.C.'s Chrismukkah, covered the bases for interfaith families and households. Ross' son Ben (one of the Sprouse kids) has a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, and like every child ever, Ben tended to lean more towards excitement about Christmas. 
Knowing he can't possibly compete with Santa (which Matthew Perry's Chandler dresses up as, much to the dismay of Ross, but the kinda creepy delight of Courteney Cox's Monica) Ross finds the only costume available during the week of Christmas, an armadillo, and creates a new, rather terrifying holiday mascot. The Holiday Armadillo, as Ross comes up with, is Santa's south of the border friend who teaches Ben (and the rest of the gang) about the importance and history of Hanukkah. 
Leave it to Ross to find the least appealing animal to try to sway a kid from only caring about Christmas, but it somehow got the job done. It reminded viewers that the Geller's are, in fact, Jewish, and made learning about the meaning of Hanukkah seem new. I mean wearing an armadillo costume certainly gets the point across in a different way. And hey, it's definitely better than the time he dressed up as Spud-nick. Watch it here!
Be sure to check in tomorrow for Day 2 for of the celebration fun and find out what our next favorite Hanukkah moment is. 
[Photo credit: NBC] 
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