During this time, we celebrate the story of Judah Maccabee & the fight against tyranny the Jewish people faced thousands of years ago. We light the Chanukah menorah for 8 nights, play dreidel & eat foods fried in oil.
Huh? Fried in oil? Surely that can't be good for you. True. It isn't, but it is a custom that Jewish people the world over follow. Eating latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly donuts) remind us of the miracle of the oil that lasted for 8 days when there was enough to last for only 1 day. And boy are those latkes & sufganiyot delicious!
For many families, there is a tradition of giving a present to each child on each of the 8 nights that are celebrated. The first year that Erin was home, we did just that. She got 8 presents from her mother & father. And then there were the presents from anyone else who wanted to give her something. Holy cow! She made out like a bandit at 12 months old! And had no clue what was going on. Thankfully, David & I wised up by the time she turned 2 & decided that we were going overboard so we came up with a new tradition. Yes, she does get a present each night. One night is from her grandparents - both sets. She gets gifts from other families on different nights, & David & I fill in the other nights.
This year we had a first. Erin came to me a few weeks ago when we were at Borders. She had found a book that she wanted to buy - for her daddy. And she beamed tonight as she handed him his gift. And he beamed in amazement that she did this all on her own.
Happy Chanukah to everyone!!