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Hanukkah? Oy Hanukkah! But it's still fun.

I think I can light candles....I think I can!

I admit it, I’m bad at Channukah.  Last year, we skipped three nights in the middle.  The year before that, I think we only lit candles the first and last nights.  I just told my daughter who’s home sick from school that tonight’s the first night of hanukkah. She looked kind of confused and asked, “But don’t we have to hide the matzah?”

OK. So, clearly, when it comes to Jewish education, I’m bad at more than just Hanukkah. But when it comes to hanukkah, I’m bad for a reason.  I don’t like how in food magazines hanukkah spreads are always in blue and white. I don’t like how it’s set up as the other Christmas.  And I don’t know how to spell it. Chanukkah? Hanukkah? Hanukah?  Still,  here’s what I do like about Hanukkah.  It can be really, really fun.

First, there are the games.  My daughter’s been practicing her dreidl skills for months now, and she knows the Hebrew letters no problem.

Then there are the songs.  Granted, there aren’t a lot of English hanukkah songs, but the Hebrew ones are really terrific.

I’m not a huge fan of latkes, but there are some good ones out there.  And the Sammy Spider Chanukah book is pretty cute. As for the Chanukah story, it’s a little bit too nationalistic for my taste. (And some others, too. And whether or not it happened is up for scholarly debate. I mean that.)

So, as a nice Jewish mom, I’m going to focus on the positive. I got my kids some really nice presents.  We’ll have a dreidl round robin over the weekend and some friends over for latkes.  There will be gelt (read: chocolate), and there will be fun.  What there won’t be, however, is hidden matzah.  For that we’ll have to wait for Passover.

What do you like about Chanukah?

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