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Debbie Abrams
Debbie Abrams
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Deb's Unconventional Chanukkah Celebration

So, I always refer to myself as Jew-"ish", and here's one example of just why that fits: my non-traditional Chanukkah celebration. Growing up, my parents did the bare minimum during the Jewish holidays; pretty much all of them, including Chanukkah; and therefore, I followed suit, but...possibly took it a step farther. 

 

When my two daughters were young, we did celebrate Chanukkah, but the meaning likely didn't come across as it should have, because of how it was presented to them. My fault! If you don't know, the Jewish holiday of Chanukkah is an eight day celebration commemorating the re-dedication of the second temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend, Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. And, the eight candles in the menorah symbolize the number of days the temple lantern was lit. Uh huh...WHATEVER... in my house, it meant eight presents; that's it. Well, okay, we also did some singing and prayers, ones that I could barely remember from my childhood; I mumbled my way through them; and, of course, we lit the candles on the menorah; plus I read them books about Chanukkah (ones with lots of pictures)! I guess you can say I decorated/filled the house with holiday stuff, including dreydels and gelt, (chocolate coins), but I ate most of it before they got to the kids.

 

Anyway, here's the most unconventional part of my celebration... Every December, I would take the kids to Toys R Us, or another toy store; let them pick out eight things, wrap them, or have someone else do it...and then the topper: the kids had to guess which toy was in which box. Come on, that way they got exactly what they wanted. Genius, right? And, as they got older, I swapped out toys for cash, in envelopes. They had to guess the amount each night.  How fun is that? Yes, it was not your typical eight day Chanukkah celebration, but it worked in my house. And, I'm stickin' with it.  Oh, by the way, Chanukkah starts on December 22nd, and this year, my girls aren't home.  So, my plan is to leave out eight envelopes for Banker Bay, and when he asks me what I want for Chanukkah this year, my response will be...FILL THOSE DAMN ENVELOPES WITH CASH!   Mazel Tov! You'll likely only get that if you’re Jewish!

 

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