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Every year for the past, I don’t know how many years, we’ve held a Hanukkah party at our house for Allie’s family. Just immediate family (her parents and sisters), but with husbands and kids, that turns out to be a total of 8 adults and 7 kids. It’s a fun, relaxing day where we hang out, stuff our faces, light the candles and then let the total chaos begin as we play Hanukkah Harry and hand out presents to the kids.
Growing up, Hanukkah was always me, my sister and parents and we just lit some candles and got some presents. So this whole Hanukkah party thing was new to me when I got married. Especially since Allie likes to decorate for the holiday.
If anyone has Christmas-decorating envy, it’s my wife. Sure there are loads of blue and white banners and decorations available these days, but they pale in comparison to that other red and green holiday. I mean there are entire websites, like christmaslightsetc.com dedicated to nothing but bright, cheerful Christmas decorations. The thing is, other than a Star of David and a spinning dreidel, there isn’t much else that can be done differently for Hanukkah.
For some reason, that doesn’t stop Allie, though. Yep, we go old school for the holiday. She buys up a few packets of construction paper, and with scissors and a stapler, we start putting together some crazy colorful paper chains that we end up hanging from the ceiling. She even found some blue
Christmas Hanukkah lights that we drape around the doorway in the kitchen.
What I do love, though, is that we’ve saved
all most of the decorations the kids made over the years in Hebrew School. So there are little popsicle stick Stars of David, stained glass-like Dreidels and even a little paper frying pan with a potato latke in it. I love just hanging those all over the house.
But come on, how can we even compete against a holiday that doesn’t just increase your electric bill tenfold, but one where you can decorate your lawn with hundreds of lighted reindeer, snowmen, and big, fat, jolly, bearded men? I mean, seriously. If we celebrated Christmas, I’d be the one buying up all those cheesy fun decorations like, oh, say, a waving Santa Claus in a golf cart!
This year in particular, holiday shopping (not just for decorations) is totally out of whack. As this recent Time article points out, this year there’s less time than normal for retailers to push their products. Not only are there less days between Black Friday and Christmas in 2013, but Hanukkah actually starts… before Thanksgiving! Yeah, I’m not a big fan of that either.
So this weekend, we’ll be pulling out the Hanukkah bins and starting to decorate the house, since the Festival of Lights is only a few weeks away! Considering we just moved into this house a few months ago, this should be interesting. Most of our walls are still bare since we haven’t hung up too many pictures yet, so it’ll certainly look a lot cozier once we’re done decorating!
Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, you have to admit that things are certainly quite a bit brighter this time of year. Here’s wishing you and your’s a very happy and healthy holiday!
How do you decorate for the holidays?