Well we celebrated this once in many lifetimes convergence of American Thanksgiving and Hanukah and I think we all had a lot of fun with it. New recipes emerged, new ways of decorating, and a new understanding of the calendar and how the American and Hebrew calendars work. Overall, a good learning experience.
For my readers who don’t understand why I didn’t do anything with doughnuts, it is because it was never done in our family. And I mean never. I didn’t even know about them until I was married and my kids went to Hebrew school. Sorry to disappoint. Sarina’s Sephardic Cuisines is all about tradition and that was just not one of ours.
Honestly, neither were presents. I don’t remember ever getting presents or having much fuss on Hanukah. It really has emerged as a holiday to compete with Christmas. Beware of the marketing ploy! My grandchildren get lots of small items on this holiday. Honestly, they just want a present and in their eyes the new box of crayons is the same as the expensive bike. As long as they get something, even a wrapped pencil, they are very happy. I don’t feel like I have to spend a lot of money and in fact I discourage it. It’s more important to me to mark the occasion with lighting the menorah together, traditional food and creating memories.
My children will tell you that their Hanukah memories are not the presents. It is the traditional food, the latkes, baking cookies and being together that they look forward to. Create memories for your families with every holiday, get together and occasion. Being together creates bonding opportunities cherished into adulthood.