Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hanukkah Memories: Meet the Family Holiday Hop

Meet the Family Holiday Hop

So I originally published the below post last year, and I wasn't going to publish it again, but I was asked to   participate in author Terri Giuliano Long's Meet the Family Holiday Blog Hop. In the Toz household, we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. My side of the family is Jewish, and my husband's side is Catholic. Yesterday, Nate Rocks posted on Millie's blog all about his family traditions when it comes to celebrating Christmas (which, coincidentally,  do have some similarities to the traditions here in the Toz household . . . is it the part about waiting to open the presents, Dad's pancakes, or Mom's awful cooking... hmmm). Today, I thought I would talk about Hanukkah - a holiday that is also rich in traditions, with the following post which I wrote last December:

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. Some families give one gift for each night of the eight day holiday, but we saved the gift giving for one day.  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! Happy Hanukkah!

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