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Hanukkah for Blended and Secular Families
We haven’t celebrated Hanukkah when I was a child. My parents were not raised in religious families and the only religious holiday that was somewhat marked on the calendar was Passover. But as an adult, I am fascinated with Hanukkah and its 8 days of special events. My many Israeli co-workers are doing 8 days of presents for their kids, but this would be way too much considering that we celebrate Christmas as well. We are not going for 8 days of presents, but there will be some presents on the first and the last days of Hanukkah including a special one that I brought home from my last visit to Israel - a beautiful homemade dreidel. By the way, it was not easy to find a dreidel in Israel – my coworkers looked at me funny when I told them what I want and told me that one can buy them only close to Hanukkah time (I was there in September). However, I managed to find my dreidel in an airport shop on the way bac, and now Smarty is old enough to be able to spin it. She is looking forward to playing dreidel, eating latkes, and, of course, to nightly lighting of a menorah. I wish I could say that it’s a special heirloom menorah, but, alas, as I said, my Jewish grandparents were absolutely not religious, and I’ve never seen them lighting candles on religious holidays. Our menorah comes from Target.
A Hanukkah/Christmas Book for Interfaith Families
I was delighted to find a book that features a family celebrating both Hanukkah and Christmas. Light the Lights! by Margaret Moorman doesn’t explain the origins of either holiday, but focuses instead on modern family celebrations around both Hanukkah and Christmas and on the fact that children and their parents can enjoy both holidays and have more occasions to share joy with their friends and family. This is exactly the tradition that we are trying to shape in our own family.
A Hanukkah Menorah Craft
Smarty is very excited about Hanukkah crafts, which is uncommon for her. So far we have made a handprint menorah for the postcard that went to grandparents and the matching Christmas Star and David Star sun catchers for her bedroom window. On Monday she came back to school to find a package that we received from Frugal Family Fun. One of the gifts was tied with a beautiful bright ribbon, and somehow this ribbon was the most desired part of the package for her. She announced that she would make a menorah out of the ribbon. She planned and executed the whole thing herself and decided that giant marshmallows will make perfect candle holders (she doesn’t like to eat them).
Eventually I convinced her to use playdoh for candle holders, because I wasn’t sure whether marshmallows will keep well.
I am very excited about tonight when we will light the first candle of menorah, eat latkes and let Smarty open her presents. Happy Hanukkah and happy first day of December, everyone.
Your TurnDo you somehow mark Hanukkah holiday in your house?
More Hanukkah ideas for kids
Follow Cassie Osborne (3Dinosaurs.com)'s board Chanukkah / Hanukkah on Pinterest.