Tuesday, January 18, 2011


This year I got a wild hair to celebrate Hanukkah. We aren't jewish, nor have I ever celebrated Hanukkah befor. We have acquaintances that are jewish but they live no where near us. I did a bit of research online and then took out every book in our library (8 children's books, one for every day of Hanukkah). I decided what I wanted to focus on- the scriptures, the candle lighting, the dreidel game, a few recipes, and learning the history behind the celebration and traditions.
If you dont know much about Hanukkah read here
The first thing we did was prepare our menorah. Being in the bible belt I couldn't find a place to buy one, plus I really wanted to make our own. SO I went with something inexpensive and indestructible (1yr old wont stay off the table!). I cut a long 1x3 as the base and then a bunch of smaller 2x2s to accommodate the candles. I had dear soldier boy shoot a nail up thru the end of each board to drive thru the candles and help hold them in place. The kids painted them and voila, easy peasy!
(I lost two candles between the store and the house and had to go back to get more but procrastinated till the last moment possible)
Don't look too hard! I had the soldier boy put the candles on and he had the brilliant idea to heat the candle befor pushing it on the nail, which blackened the candles, and the candles aren't all too straight UGH! Not too pretty
But when they were all lit the kids didn't care, they were just fun!
Next came the games. I made these dreidels out of more 2x2s and round wooden joiner thingies. I cut the ends at 45degree angles to create a point and then drilled a hole just big enough for the joiner to fit in. I made ten of these so the kids could take them to school and talk about what they had learned and teach the class how to play the dreidel game. I painted one (and packed it up with all the Christmas stuff), the others I just left raw and free handed the symbols on the sides.
Then I planned out the meals for the week. We tried a meat brisque type thing, the kids loved the potato pancakes so we had those a few times and we had fish another night...can't remember the rest.
So Latkes are potato pancakes. In Germany they would serve these at the fests. YUMMY!! I found this basic recipe. Just like I remembered!

2cps grated potatoes (I used hashbrowns I am lazy)
small onion grated
2 eggs
2Tbsp matzah meal
1tsp salt
oil for frying

Mix all together. drop by the spoonfuls into hot oil (about 1/4-1/2" deep). Fry on both sides
Serve with applesauce or sour cream.
I stole the image from here
We also made Sufganiyot or fried doughnuts. They were delicious. I had to hide some so I could snap a shot befor they disappeared. I dipped some in cinnamon sugar and others in powdered sugar. Notice which ones went faster ;-)
The recipe I have for this one is too long to type with the ape baby on my lap. Sorry!
My goals were to read a book a night and learn something new each night about the jewish culture and this tradition- we accomplished that!
We also built many fun memories around learning. THe kids are all excited to learn about another culture next year. Any suggestions?


  1. Chrissy, you are amazing! You are creative and a real can do woman!!!

  2. We're in the Bible belt as well and my husband and I decided that we would start celebrating Hanukkah. So glad to see we aren't the only ones out there! We choose to pray for each continent and their missionaries on each night of lighting a candle and on the last night we pray for those who do not know Christ.