I have no anecdote to share of Hanukkahs past from my childhood. No special connection to this holiday that commemorates the miracle of one small amount of oil that lasted 8 days and 8 nights to keep the menorah lit. Yet I’ve been singing Hanukkah songs since last week, bought Rabbi Pinson’s book “Eight Lights: Eight Meditations for Chanukah” to get even more in the mood, stuffed Annie’s stocking with Hanukkah gelt, and placed my menorah on our table in anticipation. And now, with Hanukkah just a matter of hours away, I’m going over latke recipes and drooling over the sufganiyot (jelly donuts) that my friends in Israel are eating.
While it’s true that my family doesn’t have its own unique traditions when it comes to Hanukkah, here in our little apartment in Brooklyn I get to create my own. Who would have thought that with our little multi-faith “family” with my roommates Jewish traditions would be made? But therein lies the beauty of Chanukah, which is a holiday about miracles. It’s believed that during the time of Chanukah, we have the opportunity to create miracles in our lives. When looking at the lit candles, we are supposed to meditate on them and really focus on what good things we want for ourselves and how we can create a vessel for that to happen (you still following me?). I see the opportunity to start my own holiday traditions as a little miracle in itself that will hopefully lend itself to bigger things, like carrying on these traditions with my future children.
What holiday traditions does your family have? What holiday traditions do you want to make your own?