Saturday, August 18, 2012

Community Blog Hop: Favorite Family Photo #CCEID


Welcome to day three of the Celebrate Community Blog Hop! This is a blog hop started by Author Pavarti Tyler and Fighting Money Press to help celebrate culture and community. Please visit http://www.fightingmonkeypress.com/celebrating-community/ for a complete listing of participating blogs and to enter the contest to win books, gift cards, t-shirts, and more!

Today’s topic is: Share your favorite community/family photo, and tell us the story behind it.

Today I’m going to repost something that I wrote up last year. The picture in the post is one of my favorites - it brings back so many wonderful memories.  I hope you enjoy it!

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In my household, my side of the family celebrates Hanukkah. My husband’s side of the family celebrates Christmas. My husband and I collectively with our three kids, celebrate both. It’s important to me that each holiday is celebrated separately – with equal importance and wonderful traditions that my children can take with them. 

That's me on my Mom's lap with my brother, Dad,
Aunt, & our giant Menorah!  1973? 
As a child, I always looked forward to Hanukkah. My parents decided early on that in place of a Christmas tree, we would decorate a giant Menorah that my father made out of wood and an old bed bolster. Our Menorah was about seven feet tall and four feet wide. We would decorate it with tissue paper first and then hang Hanukkah cards on it that we had received over the years. I loved looking at the cards every year, and we were pioneers in recycling! We were the only house in the neighborhood (probably the only house anywhere) that had a giant decorated Menorah – it was a big deal.

Then we would move over to our smaller ‘normal’ sized menorah, where we would light the candles and say the prayers. I remember it was always coveted to be the one to light the candles (and usually resulted in a fight between my older brother and myself.)

My Aunt would always come over, and at some point, my parents would start bringing out the presents. In many households celebrating Hanukkah there is a small gift each night of the eight-night holiday. However, in our household, my parents would pile up gifts around the giant Menorah for a single day celebration. That’s not to say I grew up in a wealthy household or was spoiled. In fact, I was neither. But my parents did want us to have gifts to open. I can remember one year in particular, my parents wrapped up grapefruit and oranges just to make the pile bigger. For us, opening was the best part.

The day of course would end with a great meal and a rousing game of dreidel. 

I don’t know whatever happened to our giant Menorah, but I hope that my children are enjoying the Hanukkah traditions that we have incorporated into our family.

Our tradition: the kids each have their own Menorah - we take turns lighting
each night, and on the last night - we light them all!


However you celebrate your holidays, I hope you find yourself surrounded by the people you care most about! 

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