Here is how we use each day to be intentional (and fun) as a family when we celebrate Hanukkah as a Jewish home who believes in Jesus (Yeshua). It’s a goal of ours to create a solid foundation for our kids in our home to grow up knowing their Jewish identity with Jesus being the focal point and these are some of the ways we want to celebrate this specific holiday as the years pass:
DAY 1: EXTENDED FAMILY NIGHT
Every year we get together with the entire Brown/Davis clan and celebrate together with a traditional Jewish meal, play dreidel, teach the kiddos about the meaning of Hanukkah, adults have a latke throwdown, sing songs, and exchange gifts. It’s tradition. We love tradition. Cue Fiddler on the Roof now.
DAY 2:LATKE/HANUKKAH STORY TIME NIGHT
It’s important to me that our kids know how to make traditional Jewish food for the holidays as a facet of their heritage and culture to pass down when I’m gone and they have their own families. Sadie is old enough this year to make Latkes with me in the kitchen and I know this is a tradition she won’t want to live without since the kitchen is here favorite spot to be.
We will also re-read (we’ve been reading leading up to it) the story of Hanukkah to Sadie and talk about it with her before bed.
DAY 3: DREIDLE GAME NIGHT
- a) If נ (nun) is facing up, the player does nothing.
- b) If ג (gimel) is facing up, the player gets everything in the pot.
- c) If ה (hei) is facing up, the player gets half of the pieces in the pot.
- d) If ש (shin) or פ (pei) is facing up, the player adds a game piece to the pot.
Something tells me this will be a lively game with Sadie since we will be playing for chocolate gelt. The girl loves her some chocolate. Jonah will have tons of fun chucking the dreidle into breakables around the house.
DAY 4:JELLY DOUGHNUT NIGHT
We’ll take a quick trip to Krispy Cream for a traditional Jelly Doughnut since fried foods are a part of remembering the miracle of Hanukkah. We have to.
DAY 5: ARE YOU GR8FUL?
We will make a list together after lighting the candles of 8 things we are grateful for and hang it up for the remainder of Hanukkah so we can focus on everything God has done for us just like He did for His people then.
DAY 6: HANUKKAH COOKIE DELIVERY
Sadie and I will make cookies together from Hanukkah cookie cutters and deliver them to friends to celebrate with the miracle of light with us!
DAY 7: 8 SPECIAL PEOPLE
We will call 8 people who are special to us and tell them we love them.
DAY 8: FAMILY GIFT EXCHANGE NIGHT
We’re leaving this night for last on purpose. As much as we love to lavish our kids with fun things, we certainly don’t want presents to be the focus. Our goal is to end the eight nights of Hanukkah with the understanding of God’s miracle then, and God’s miracles He still does today.