Five Reasons to Love Hanukkah
If you've never celebrated Hanukkah before, here's the 411 on how to truly enjoy the Festival of Lights!
1. Make Your Own Menorah - Every year at our local synagogue, kids get to craft their own menorahs complete with clay, paint, wax, wood and even decoupage. We then showcase our kids' creations by lighting candles each night on their custom made menorah. We even have the menorah my daughter created back in pre-school and proudly showcase it in our front window every year. Here's a site offering step-by-step instructions to build your own menorah - feel free to enhance it with your own decorations!
2. Potato Latkes for Everybody - While I happen to be a bit skittish about cooking with oil, I do have friends and family members who love making latkes. Since my specialty is matzoh balls (check back with me during Passover), I found this fabulous latke recipe from Bobby Flay. Honestly, how can you go wrong with Bobby - even if he's not Jewish. Add a little sour cream and apple sauce to any latke creation and you will be in heaven.
3. Play the Dreidel Game - You can make your own dreidel (with clay) or purchase a few dreidels (they're pretty inexpensive) and play the "Dreidel Game." It's pretty simple. You each spin your dreidels and the one that spins the longest wins. Usually the winner takes home a mountain load of chocolate coins. And while you're spinning, sing this tune:
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
I made it out of clay,
And when it's dry and ready,
Oh dreidel I will play!
4. Watch the Adam Sandler Hanukkah Song - Since there are tons of movies and songs dedicated exclusively to Christmas, there seems to be slim pickings in the Hanukkah category. That's why I always love to watch this classic video featuring Adam Sandler and his homage to Jews of any denomination!
5. A Chance to Reconnect with Family and Friends - The one thing I truly love about Hanukkah is that it gives my family the chance to spend quality time with friends and relatives we don't get to see throughout the year. There is nothing quite like visiting with my cousins and smelling those incredible latkes the moment we walk in the door. Plus, we get the chance to catch up on the year's events, reminisce about all the holidays we've spent with one another, play games (scrabble has become a personal fave) and plan for our next big holiday extravaganza.
Do you have any Hanukkah traditions you'd like to share? I'd love to find out how you're celebrating!