By Elyssa Bloom
My almost 4-year-old is having a REALLY hard time this holiday season. We are Jewish, but he really doesn’t want to be. He wants to celebrate Christmas just like he sees in stores, on TV, and like his friends do. But let me share with you what I have shared with him… because celebrating Hanukkah is also a lot of fun!
We get to play with fire every night. A little extra beauty in our home for 8 nights as we light the menorah and the candles melt on their own. The wax melts down, onto the fancy menorah dish we bought, stains the countertop, and I am left with a mess. But that is beside the point, it’s really just so beautiful.
Sufganiyot are deep-fried jelly doughnuts. The oil used to fry the doughnuts is reminiscent of the oil that miraculously burned—according to the Hanukkah story. They are so delicious that I barely care about the extra pounds I’ve gained or how I’m breaking out like a tween from all the grease.
Deep-fried potato pancakes. Can you think of anything more delicious? I’ll wait. Again, weight gain and acne–a nice touch to every holiday photo.
A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top. It is a gambling game. My already competitive son now has a gambling problem–awesome. The game is typically played with gelt. Gelt is a chocolate coin. Again, weight gain and pimples–need I say more?
EIGHT nights of presents! If anyone is curious about what I want this year–I’m thinking a gym membership and a facial. On a serious note though, my husband and I take advantage of these nights and use it as a teachable moment. While we love watching our boys open presents, we remember how lucky we are to be able to give them gifts. We teach them that not everyone is as lucky as they are to receive presents. We ask them to choose a few gifts to give to someone who isn’t so fortunate. My boys are only 3.5 and 16 months, so it’s still an abstract concept. However, I think making this a tradition each year will eventually make sense to them. Also, please note, I am not the grinch who stole Hanukkah. I am actually obsessed with this time of year. I have so much fun decorating, celebrating, eating (winky face), and just feeling so thankful!
If you’re celebrating Hanukkah, I would love to know, what is your favorite tradition?
Editor’s Note: For a list of local family-friendly Hanukkah activities, check out Miami Moms Blog‘s recently published Guide to Local Hanukkah Events, part of our Ultimate Guide to Holiday Events & Activities!