Hanukkah is only a few weeks away, so I thought I would share our family’s philosophy for celebrating the holiday.
Hanukkah is all about spending 8 evenings together as a family to celebrate history and tradition and a miracle or two thrown in.
We used to buy Sam a gift for each night, but only something small because we also celebrate Christmas. We also eat a piece of chocolate gilt and read a Hanukkah book or watch a movie. A few years ago my sister found this website (http://www.pjvoice.com/v18/18801gifts.aspx ) that listed the top eight Hanukkah gifts and gave a significance behind each night. She adopted this list when giving Sam gifts and we loved the idea so much that we have adopted it since.
For the first night: A gift of Hanukkah - This is usually a book or movie or a Hanukkah related item that we need, like a new menorah. This year we got him a menorah from Think Geek http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/lights/b25a/
For the second night: A gift of generosity - We usually make a donation to a charity in Sam’s name. This year we got Sam the Heart and Stroke Calendar lottery http://calendar.pdgmedia.com/
For the third night: A gift of togetherness - This is usually a movie or a game we can all watch or play together. This year we got Sam cards for a game he plays with his father and a Dr Who cartoon that he can watch with me.
For the fourth night: A gift of knowledge - This is usually a book or dictionary. This year we got him 50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Children Do from Think Geek again http://www.thinkgeek.com/geek-kids/3-7-years/d823/
For the fifth night: A gift of labor - This is something that usually helps with his chores around the house, in the past Sam has gotten a laundry basket, a Shark steam mop and a shovel. This year I am still stumped on what to get him.
For the sixth night: A gift of comfort - We usually get Sam a blanket or a sweatshirt. This year is a Bazinga Hoodie from you guessed it Think Geek http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts-apparel/hoodies/e5a4/
For the seventh night: A gift of choice Every year we get two gift cards and wrap them and Sam has to choose which one he wants and who he wants to give the other one to.
For the eighth night: A gift of being Jewish book - This is most often a book like the one we just found at amazon, the Jewish Book of Why. http://www.amazon.com/Jewish-Book-Why-Compass/dp/0142196193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1290021113&sr=8-1
This has become a very special tradition in our house, that I am sure will continue for many years to come.