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augustlan's avatar

Happy Hanukkah! What are your family's traditions?

Asked by augustlan (47715points) December 20th, 2011

Hanukkah begins at sundown today. I’m not actually Jewish, but my ex-husband is, and I have many fond memories of Hanukkah. Family and friends coming over for dinner featuring potato latkes on the first night, lighting the candles and singing the blessings every night, seeing the kids faces glowing in the candle light and watching them open their little presents. It has always given me such a warm feeling.

What is Hanukkah like at your house? However you celebrate, enjoy!

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7 Answers

6rant6's avatar

We’re usually out shopping for Christmas gifts.

Qingu's avatar

We used to celebrate Hannukah in a half-assed way, but not anymore. Nowadays it’s just a seasonal solstice get together if anything, which I much prefer.

I personally refuse to celebrate Hannukah because the holiday glorifies religious fundamentalist terrorists. The “heroes” of the story, the Maccabees, fought a war so they could locally enforce the ancient Jewish version of Shariah law, they murdered less conservative “collaborator” Jews who were sympathetic to Greek culture, and they treated women like property.

Celebrating Hannukah is like celebrating the Taliban’s victory over the Americans in Afghanistan.

comity's avatar

As a young woman with children I celebrated but not religiously. The food, the sharing of gifts, the singing of songs, and the lighting of the menorah. As I got older I pulled away from religion. But, I still did it for the children so they knew about some of their ancestors. One member of my family still observes. I join in when I can, they’re far away (we join them on Skype lately – I even get to see them light the Menorah) and send my grandson Chanukah “gelt” and a present in celebration of the holiday.

mangeons's avatar

We have potato latkes (the best!) and brisket for dinner, which is always delicious! Then we do the candles and open presents, and last year we played Texas Dreidel, which was really fun and I’m sure we’ll be doing again this year. Also, my dad’s fiancee and her kids are coming this year, as well as a family friend, so it’ll be even more fun than before!

I’m sure it will be fun when we do it at your house too! :-)

YARNLADY's avatar

One of the highlights of the season was when we got together with Hubby’s family and our extended family to celebrate with a large feast. Dad always did the religious part, and he taught the kids about the dreidel and chocolate money.

When me moved 500 miles away, I started to celebrate it, but when I read the books to my son, I realized that what @Qingu said was true, and I stopped celebrating it.

Sunny2's avatar

We haven’t really established any yet. One member of the family took instructions and became Jewish recently. On Christmas day 6 of us are going out for Chinese food. I have some chocolate coins to spread around the table. It may become a tradition. I know it will be fun.
I hadn’t heard about the negative connotations before. I’ll ask about that.

comity's avatar

Just watched the kids who live in McLean Virginia (we live in the finger lakes of NY) light the candles and spent ½ an hour talking, singing and kidding around on Skype. Aaah! Aint modern technology grand?

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