Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Guest Post about Hanukkah!

Please give a warm welcome to my friend Wendi. She's a Jewish girl from New York planted in Kansas! (Though I wish she still had a NY accent. That'd be fun to listen to!). Anyways, her post gives us a little insight into the world of Hanukkah, which I never fully understood before! Take it away Wendi!
Thanks Angie for asking me to be a guest blogger! I’ve never blogged before. I read a bunch of them, but this is a first for me!

My holiday traditions are a little different than all of those that have been posted here. I’m
Jewish and my family has always celebrated Hanukkah! The traditions are somewhat similar because growing up; we always spent the holiday with family…..grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. They are different, well, because I didn’t celebrate Christmas. I celebrated the Festival of Lights. The 8 days of Hanukkah.

For those of you who don’t know about Hanukkah, I’ll give you a condensed history lesson.
Thousands of years ago, the Jews were prohibited from studying their sacred texts and celebrating their holidays. Any violation of this rule was certain death. Along with this, their temples were destroyed and they were ordered to start worshiping other Gods. A small army of Jews fought and won! After that war, they only had enough oil to last one day. Miraculously, it lasted 8 days! And there you have it, the 8 days of Hanukkah!

When I was little, we always celebrated at my grandparent’s house. Everyone came and we ate potato latkes (potato pancakes), played dreidel, and opened presents. The one year that stands out was when I actually missed the big family celebration. I was home sick with strep throat.
My dad and I played board games all day. I think I enjoyed that year the most….just me and my daddy.
Several years later, my grandparents moved to Florida and we all starting celebrating at my cousin’s house.

Now, my family has new traditions. We are an Inter-faith family because my husband is Christian. We now celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. My children love it! We have a Christmas tree and we also light our Hanukkah Menorahs every night during Hanukkah. When they were little, they would get 8 presents. Now, we usually get them one big present for Hanukkah.

Every year, we celebrate Hanukkah with my mom, my brother and his family. We have a big meal, open presents and spend the day together. We also go to our Temple for a service and Hanukkah dinner. I love that my kids have friends that share the same traditions as them. My children are learning to read and speak Hebrew. My kids are also able to teach their “school friends” about Hanukkah which is a great learning experience for all of them! Talk about teaching tolerance and opening minds!!

Well, that’s a little peek inside our Inter-faith home! I’d love to hear what all of you do! Please leave a comment about your special family traditions. Happy Holidays!
Thanks Wendi! Loved the post. Merry Christmas ;) lol.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love your blog Wendi!! I was also raised Jewish and married a christian. Our daughter, just like your children, are lucky enough to know both religions. It's more about family & love than a tree or a menorah. I know that now & hope to pass that belief on. Keep blogging baby!! & Happy Holidays.