Who's excited for Chanukah? My kids sure are! And so am I. There are two ways to look at this holiday:
1) Chanukah isn't a major Jewish holiday; it celebrates some religious zealots that Judaism has chosen to valorize; we only do it big because of Christmas
2) Chanukah is a super fun holiday filled with things that are so good for us: light, play, comfort food, family. Let's Jew it!
I'm choosing the latter. Of course everything under point 1 is true. But everything under point 2 is equally true.
I didn't get the whole big deal about Chanukah until I had kids. One night when my daughter was two years old we sang the song "Chanukah oh Chanukah" which includes the line "let's have a party, we'll all dance the horah." And so she asked: when is the horah starting? And just like that a tradition was born. We dance around the kitchen each night. It's silly and awesome.
We also play dreidel each night, we decorate the house, we cook together (my children basically only eat beige food so latkes and applesauce are perfect). We host family and friends many of the eight nights. We make special dedications on candles about things that are important to us. And we laugh a lot. It took me having kids to get why all of this was so important. I have so few regrets in my life, but one of them is that I didn't take the opportunity to make this holiday as special as it can be much, much earlier.
So make this holiday wonderful - celebrate and embrace it for all the fun it can be!
To get you in the mood, check out Bohemian Chanukah, this year's Jewish song adaptation of awesome.
Until next week,