During the few short daylight hours we have, it is dark, gray and wet outside. People cope with our NW weather differently. Some of our favorite things to do during such days, is cuddle up on the couch with the family and watch holiday movies while eating unlimited bowls of popcorn, oh and don't forget about baking cookies together, and playing board games- we truly make a lot of our memories this time of the year, which is why I love this time so much. The cold, dark rainy days can't ruin that warm and fuzzy feeling we get during the holidays.
This is our 4th year celebrating Hanukkah, and the kids always look forward to it.
Unlike Christmas, when the kids open all their presents at once, with hanukkah, they open one each night (there are 8 nights of hanukkah) then they actually have a whole day to play and discover their presents until they open another.
Which is nice for the kids, however it is a lot of pressure for the parents to have 8 gifts ready for each child, and making sure we light the menorah every night. A lot of times my husband works late and we end up excluding him from our festivities, which I don't like :(
I don't think we will be doing Hanukkah gifts next year, we will probably only do three Christmas gifts for each child. We will however, will continue to light the menorah, because by celebrating Hanukkah we are not only are we remembering how God helped the Maccabees defeat the great Greek army, but also the miracle of the oil. (When the Jews got their temple back, they could see that it was defiled. The Greeks worshiped their god Zeus and sacrificed swine on the alter. Which are both a big NO for our God. In order to purify the temple, they had to burn oil in the menorah for 8 days, but they only had enough oil for 1 day -it took 8 days to make more oil. That little bit of oil they had burned for 8 days!)
God was with his people and helped them purify the temple. This is a great reminder of the great miracles the Lord has done, so when the children ask why we celebrate Hanukkah, I can tell them the wonderful story.
I had 3 kids sick with the stomach flu this week :( They felt pretty crummy all week, so the thought of opening a gift that night after dinner, helped them get through their days.
We lit our menorahs, opened presents, played games. In other words, we tried enjoy our time together even though we were sick.
On the 6th night of Hanukkah which fell on Friday this year (sabbath) evening, I hosted a Hanukkah dinner for the family. We get together for dinner, read the Hanukkah story, sang songs, played games and exchanged gifts.
Here are a few pictures I took during our week:
Happy Holidays from our family to yours!