A few years ago we studied the Jewish holidays with our children to help them better understand some very important symbolism in the Bible. We enjoyed celebrating these holidays in the Messianic Jewish Customs. Since we have a new crop of kids learning the Bible each year, we have celebrated Chanukkah and Passover quite regularly for a number of years now. There is so much beautiful symbolism in Jewish holidays.
I don't like when Chanukkah falls too close to Christmas because they get mashed together. This year Chanukkah started on Thanksgiving which has not happened for a couple of hundred years and won't occur for another very long time. The early holiday makes it nice for making sure the two holidays don't get mixed up.
A few years we have hosted gatherings with Jewish friends and serve up some fabulous Jewish dishes. This year I was feeling kind of worn out so we kept it simple. We made some Latkes, read the story of the Maccabees, put on some Israeli music and spun the dreidl.
At first Carmella was a little unsure of how to get her top spinning but she got really determined when she realized the gelt was chocolate in disguise.
"Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.
Blessed are You, Lord our G-d, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion." ~ Channukah blessing recited when lighting the menorah