A Hanukkah Collection

Hanukkah began at sundown last night! In honor of this, we have gathered a collection of posts from our own contributors and sister sites to bring you everything you’ll need to celebrate. You’ll find that this roundup is full of craft ideas for the kids, recipes for fried deliciousness, personal stories of conversion and interfaith, customs and history, and even a bit of Yiddish language fun!

When You Don’t Have a Christmas Tree | Twin Cities Moms Blog

“What are you doing for Chanukah this year?” I kind of hate this question, if only because I never have a good answer. “Lighting some candles and being forced to listen to Adam Sandler again,” doesn’t really have the same ring to it as “bounding down the stairs wearing matching Christmas pajamas and eating cinnamon rolls while we unwrap presents and listen to Dean Martin!” (This is what Hallmark and Instagram have led me to believe Christmas is like. Am I close?)”

A Guide to the Jewish High Holidays | Twin Cities Moms Blog

“For Jewish families, “The Holidays” means something slightly different than trick or treating (although some of us still do that), turkey carving (although many of us do that), and decorating Christmas trees (although plenty of us have those).”

Hanukkah :: It’s About Presence, Not Presents | Boston Moms Blog

“Hanukkah started at sundown last Sunday. And you know what this means? PRESENTS!

Sadly, this is not what the holiday is really about. But because of our consumer culture, the holiday’s proximity to Christmas, and the pressure we put on ourselves and others, this is what it has become for many folks.”

A Quick & Easy Night by Night Hanukkah Gift Guide | Houston Moms Blog

“I never thought the age old question “What do you get someone who already has everything?” would apply to my three-year old, but here we are. I was completely stumped as to how I was going to fill eight nights of Hanukkah with creative gifts, so I decided to break it down and come up with some sort of formula.” 

A Lonely Jew on Christmas | Nashville Moms Blog

“I met my Kentucky-born husband in college, and I was the first Jewish person he had ever met. I introduced him to the food, holidays . . . and more food, and he instantly felt at home. My Jewish community adopted him quickly, and we attended many a holiday and event with the “Jew Crew.”

Then . . . we moved to Nashville.”

Deck the Halls with Crispy Latkes | Burlington VT Moms Blog

“If you don’t know what a latke is, let me school you. A latke is a potato pancake made from shredded (not mashed) potatoes that is seasoned with onion, flour, salt and pepper, and fried in a shallow pan of oil. It’s often served with sour cream and/or applesauce. Some people get all high class and serve it with caviar, but let’s be honest…we’re gonna keep it real around these parts.”

8 Yiddish {Jewish} Words All Moms Should Master | New Orleans Moms Blog

“I especially like this quote about Yiddish (a mix of Hebrew and German) from ThoughtCatalog.com: “Yiddish is unparalleled as a darkly comic language of complaint, a way to look on the dark side of life and laugh at it.” Most of the Yiddish I use regularly, I first heard my favorite, much missed grandma {bubbe in Yiddish} speak, or more like squawk, in her loud Charleston by way of Brooklyn and Miami accent.”

We Celebrate Both :: The Story of an Interfaith Family | Boston Moms Blog

“I know all the Hanukkah prayers. I make latkes and brisket and buy the best sufganiyot — the raspberry-filled version from Flour Bakery. My husband hangs ornaments, puts on his red-and-green-plaid pajama pants, and reads “The Sweet Smell of Christmas” (as my dad did) to our daughters. We’re raising our children Jewish, but we celebrate Christmas. Our home is the picture of holiday harmony — but it took us 10 years to get here.”

Trading the Tree for a Menorah | Memphis Moms Blog

“Traditions are what your children remember and carry with them. Instead of continuing with my mom’s beautiful popcorn and cranberry garland threading here in our home, we get to create our own, unique celebration that takes pieces from my husband’s family with a twist of how my family celebrates holidays in general.”

Hanukkah 101: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know | Boston Moms Blog

“Every night for eight nights, Jewish people light the menorah, or hanukkiah, a nine-stemmed candelabra. They say a few blessings, thanking God for the miracle of the holiday, for keeping us safe, and for the special ceremony of lighting the candles. Gifts are often exchanged, especially chocolate gelt (coins). I like to give my kids one small present each night; it gives them something really fun to look forward to.”

3 Hanukkah Crafts for Kids | Columbia SC Moms Blog

“Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins at sundown on Sunday, December 2 and lasts until sundown Monday, December 10. A great way to teach children about the traditions and story of Hanukkah is through play and crafts. Here are three kid-friendly crafts to share the joy of Hanukkah with your children.”

5 Reasons to Teach Your Children About Judaism | New Orleans Moms Blog

“Christmas is not the only holiday. I want my kids to be sensitive to the fact that while they’re begging Santa for Legos and Ariel dresses and singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas, the child sitting next to them in class may not relate.”

Merry Christmakkah! How Our Family Blends Holiday Traditions | Columbia SC Moms Blog

“Hi, my name is Ashleigh and I am a Jew who married a gentile. And I send my first born to a Baptist preschool. And I love bacon.

Woo! That feels good to get out there! Happy Hanukkah, friends! Mazel Tov and all that jazz!”

Keep the Flame Burning Bright with Modern Hanukkah Traditions | Corpus Christi Moms Blog

“Tis the season.

In a world full of Christmas cheer, it can be difficult to raise your children in a religion where Santa Claus, unfortunately, does not visit your house.”

Happy Hanukkah! Crafts and Snacks to Celebrate | Mid-Peninsula Moms Blog

“Let your kids go crazy painting 6 popsicle sticks blue.  Once they have dried, glue 3 together to make 2 triangles.  Allow them to dry. Then glue the triangles together making the Star of David.  Finish with  a blue ribbon to display your star.”

Understanding Hanukkah in a Christmas Dominated World | Oklahoma City Moms Blog

“And while I can definitely get behind a good light display and enjoy the carols the first day or two they’re played on the radio, I don’t celebrate Christmas. In my house, December (or sometimes November, depending on how the calendar falls) is Hanukkah time. No, Hanukkah is not “Jewish Christmas,” but it does have its own great reasons to celebrate.”

The Interfaith Family :: Celebrating Christmukkah | Boston Moms Blog

“I met my husband 10 years ago this December at a Christmas party. After a few drinks I remember asking him what he was doing for Christmas. His response: “I don’t celebrate Christmas, I’m Jewish.” Pump the breaks. I was born and raised in southern New Hampshire, a mere one-hour drive from Boston, but I’d had little introduction to the Jewish faith. Fast forward 10 years later and I yell, “Mazel!” when I clink glasses.”

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