Saturday, December 24, 2016

Chag Sameach & Happy Hanukkah!

It's rare that Hanukkah falls so late in December that it overlaps Christmas. It's even rarer that it begins on Christmas Eve, but this year, that's the case!

Matt and I are spending this evening making latkes, exchanging gifts, lighting the candles, and seeing my family.

Growing up, we got one present a night. My parents would always give us our biggest gift on the first night, but then we were allowed to choose what to open. We'd line up our gifts in the living room and wait impatiently for dad to get home from work so we could light the candles (the holiday begins at sundown, so I never minded Daylight Savings and early evenings!) and open gifts.
Here's a picture of my siblings and me celebrating Hanukkah in 1995. Be nice.
The best Hanukkahs were the ones when my sister and I both loved American Girl dolls. We'd circle everything we wanted in the catalogue and then each night we'd get a new accessory for our dolls. These days, we don't get eight gifts, but it's nice to continue the other traditions.

Matt isn't Jewish, but he likes celebrating with us. When he first did Hanukkah with us, I wrote down the prayers (which are said in Hebrew) phonetically for him, but now he remembers them by heart. I'm very proud.

If you don't know much (or anything) about Hanukkah, Mental Floss did a nice little write-up on some of the important (and less-important) aspects of the holiday.
Finally, I thought I'd leave you all with this, which made me laugh because it's just so damn accurate:
I hope you all have a joyous holiday, however you celebrate!

What are your holiday plans?
Do you have any unique traditions for the holidays?



  1. Happy Hanukkah, Ali! The picture of you and your siblings is priceless. I never had American Girl dolls but I did read the books. That meme... I wanted to share it but I'm not Jewish or Christian so I thought hmmm I better not! I read the 11 festive facts and feel so much better because I never know how to spell Hanukkah since it is spelled so many ways! And I sent out a Hanukkah card to my friends and then I saw it spelled differently online and I was like oh crap I spelled it wrong. But I guess I didn't! Just don't spell Christmas "X-mas" or people will FLIP their SHIT.

    1. I am so lazy and always write "xmas" and hope I'm not offending any of my friends haha! I just can't be bothered to type it out sometimes.

  2. Happy Hanukkah! That's so awesome that you wrote out the prayers phonetically for Matt and now he knows them by heart.

    Thanks for sharing the article from Mental Floss. I didn't know the history behind lighting the candles. I also always wondered about the spelling of hanukkah. I assumed the "ch" spelling was old timey and the h spelling was modern. It's probably best for me to stop assuming things and actually look the facts up!

    1. I think of the "Ch" spelling as a little more traditional because it mimics the actual Hebrew pronunciation of Hanukkah; I think of how I spell it as a little more Americanized? But really there's no actual difference; that's just the connotation I have of it!

  3. Thank you for sharing some insight as to how Hanukkah is celebrated. There are things I was often curious about.

  4. Happy Hanukkah!
    My 11 and 2 year old daughters are NUTS over American Girl dolls!! My 2 year old got her first Itty Bitty for christmas, it's adorable ;)


    1. My sister and I each had dolls (she had Molly and I had Samantha and Felicity) and when we were older the Bitty Babies came out. We each got one, even though I was a little old for dolls at that point. I still wanted one!

  5. Happy Hanukkah! We celebrated it very similarly when I was a kid. My dad isn't Jewish, so we did Christmas too. Now, we always spend the holiday with Frank and his fam (also, not Jewish), so Hanukkah has become less each year. Unfortunately, since I live so far, Hanukkah usually falls at a time that I am still in Kansas.

    Have a happy rest of your holiday!! ��

  6. I always like reading about other religious traditions. We still do Christmas trees and presents with both my parents, but most of our other traditions have fallen to the wayside. Just celebrating with my parents makes it special though! Happy Hanukkah!