Traditionally, there was no such thing as a Hanukkah bush. Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that is also known as a festival of lights. The holiday celebrates the recapture of the second temple during the second century before the Common Era. The holiday is traditionally celebrated by lighting candles on a candelabra called a Menorah. The menorah has 9 candle holders. The holiday is celebrated over eight days and nights. Each night, the master candle is lit and one candle for each night of the holiday is also lit. So, on the eighth night, nine candles, including the master candle, which is called the Shamas, are lit. Other traditional things that go with Hanukkah include spinning dreidels, singing Hanukkah songs, and saying the prayers for lighting the candles and for reaching a special occasion. There was also traditionally no exchange of gifts on Hanukkah.
However, Hanukkah falls sometime during late November and late December which is during the Christmas shopping season. Christians have Christmas trees and go Christmas shopping. Many other religions and cultures also have trees to celebrate the winter season or a winter holiday. Thus, some Jews wanted to exchange gifts and have a Hanukkah bush. So, some Jews now exchange gifts, although that was not part of the original traditions. A more recent development is the advent of the Hanukkah bush.
Traditional Jews and those of the Chasidic, Orthodox, and most Conservative variety would not have a Hanukkah bush, and might think that the phrase “Hanukkah bush” was funny and that the concept of a Hanukkah bush was a sad commentary on the Jewish religion getting lost in Christianity. However, more modern, secular, and assimilated Jews might actually have a Hanukkah bush. Some families that mix religions might have a menorah and a Christmas tree, or they might compromise and have a Hanukka bush.
A Hanukkah bush can be decorated with Hanukkah ornaments and lights. Hanukkah ornaments including menorahs, stars of David, dreidels, and even glass ornaments with Jewish phrases on them such as “Oy Joy” are for sale through vendors of Judaica on the Internet. Another seller offers a theme in there ornamens of “tikun olam” which means making the world a better place through charity.
There are also Hanukkah bushes for sale on the Internet. For example, one manufacturer has a Hanukka bush that is designed to invoke images of the tree of life, from the story of Adam and Eve in the Torah (or what Christians would call the Old Testament), and the Burning Bush, which is a story from Exodus, also part of the Torah. The Lord appeared in the Burning Bush and told Moses to take the Jewish people out of Egypt where they had been slaves.