Build Sweet New Chanukah Traditions is a sponsored post
I know there are a proliferation of holiday blog posts around this time of year and yet I feel the need to throw my proverbial hat in the ring and add my thoughts–I mean that is what this blog is all about- a place for us parents share our superficial and deep-seated joys and fears- without abandon- and hopefully without self-censorship.
So you ask, what can I possibly add to this whole; Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas– little ole Chanukah is missing from the colorful Homer Simpson dressed as Santa- blinking multi-colored trees decked in shimmering tinsel and handcrafted sparkling ornaments-cartoons about Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer?!
I mean in the U.S. there really is no way to compete with the big old Jolly kahuna himself- Mr. Kris Kringle–
You can tinsel your house with bright blue decor, create a wreath of dreidels and yes you can even get those bright blue lights– but YOU CAN'T ever compete with the majesty of the Christmas decoration experience.
So let's start at the very beginning ( it's a very good place to start!) ….
I grew up in a pretty Orthodox Jewish Household, I went to Yeshiva, I observed Shabbat–and yet- no matter how insulated I was – who could possibly abstain from the seductive merry Christmas decorations..
In fact, I remember waiting with baited breath for Thanksgiving to end because I knew the very next day- my Italian and Irish neighbors would roll out their masterfully, and quite intricate decorations, which would be a feast for my eyes…and Yes I do remember feeling extremely envious- and even wishing that for that one day a year- I too could be a Christian, and decorate a natural sweet smelling tree- wear a big old red Christmas sweater- sing carols- dive into a big ole' dish of candied yams.
Of course I never disclosed these feelings to anyone- especially my parents- who might have been slightly worried that I might take that leap and convert to Catholicism. Sure as a non- Christian person- it can be very difficult during this “Holiday” season to not want to thrill in all the programs, songs, decorations…and all these years later, I still get that tingly feeling, that sense of wonder and excitement – and my kids who are being raised Jewish- implore me each night to drive around Staten Island, as we all admire singing mechanical Santas propped up on red velvet couches on our neighbor's lawns, carousels and grinches.
But that's part of our DNA as human beings to be attracted to beautiful things. And then I think, will my kids be so drawn to this tantalizing holiday- that they will indeed decide to play for the other team, and leave behind the Jewish values I am trying so hard to instill in them…Well, I didn't, so I suppose there's hope for them- and though I wouldn't necessarily admit it– I probably enjoy cruising around admiring the decorations, watching Santa Claus is coming to Town, even more than them!
But the good news is that you too can Build Sweet New Chanukah Traditions that will give Christmas a run for its money!!
That's right this Chankah you can Check off all the holiday boxes: sweet treats, imagination, family fun, and meaningful giving, the do-it-yourself Chanukah House Cookie Decorating Kit (MSRP $14.99–$19.99) comes with everything children need – from cookies and icing to a sanding sugar and a candy menorah – to build their own edible holiday cottage.
Easy step-by-step instructions are included in the package, and the cookie kit is certified Kosher and made in a peanut and nut-free facility. The instructions and ingredients leave lots of room for families to decorate the house in their own individual style, making for a fun, unique, and engaging activity during the holidays.
And just one example of the age-appropriate children’s books which PJ Library will deliver this fall, Eric Kimmel’s classic Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins is on the list for November 2020. PJ Library is also updating their popular “Hanukkah Hub” and plans to publish new episodes of the award-winning PJ Library podcast, Have I Got a Story for You!. For more family-friendly ideas, visit the PJ Library holiday resources page: pjlibrary.org/hanukkah you will find Everything You Need to Celebrate Hanukkah With Kids including child-friendly versions of the Hanukkah story.
Are you the designated “Hanukkah parent” at your child's school? Be sure to check out their guide, Sharing Hanukkah at School.
For more information about Hanukkah, including recipes, book lists, gift ideas, activities, and much more, check out pjlibrary.org/hanukkah