We are in the midst of Hannukah, folks! This means enjoying time with family, being thankful for all that we have and celebrating the Jewish faith.
Hannukah is one of many Jewish holidays during which a candle is lit for each of the eight nights. The lighting of candles commemorates the Second Temple of Jerusalem’s rededication. In what is now known as the Maccabean Revolt, the Jewish worshipers only had enough oil to light their candles for one night. However, the oil lasted for eight nights; thus, giving us Hannukah!
While celebrating can feel like a huge undertaking no matter what holiday it is, here are a few simple, fun ways to embrace the Hannukah spirit in your home!
Why make a menorah? Because you can get more creative than you think! My friend’s son gifted me with a menorah he made at school and that art alone made my whole holiday. He applied a slew of colors and really made it his own.
It is currently on my fridge and is my favorite menorah in the house. Another fun way to make a menorah is with food! I’ve seen some people stack graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows to create a fun menorah. If you enjoy charred, melted marshmallows, this one is definitely for you.
Playing Hannukah games is a must. You can go the traditional route and play dreidel or you can be a bit more modern and play Cards Against Humanity with the Jewish Expansion Pack or Yutz-ee, which is Jewish Yahtzee! Dreidel is a very simple game and can have any number of players. It is also a wonderful game to play with children.
Cook Up Some Latkes
Okay, so this is a touchy subject for me because I change up my recipe every year for Hannukah. Either my latkes are delicious, but took five hours to make or they are dry and took three hours to make. If anyone has a secret to making the perfect latkes, please reach out to my editor so we may connect. This year, I went the simplest route possible and, wow, did it show.
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I went with a boxed recipe from Manischewitz. If you don’t know that brand, well, let’s just say they are to Jewish meals what Michael Jordan is to basketball. I assumed they would be amazing, but alas, I was wrong. In the company’s defense, I’m sure it was a user error. Now when you make your latkes, be sure to add a little sour cream on the side with some chives. Some people even like apple sauce with it. It is your chance to get creative. Some other delicious options for snacks or sides are Babka and lox bagels!
Babka is a sweet braided bread which originated in Jewish communities of Poland and Ukraine.
Lox Bagel from Later Alligator.
Gift a Friend
On Hannukah, gifts are given throughout the eight days of celebration. While that can sound a bit overwhelming, don’t fret! One nice thing about these eight nights are the gifts and how simplistic they are. A card, food, handmade craft or a book are all beautifully acceptable gifts for Hannukah.
Not only does it make the holiday more manageable, it allows room for something more personal and sentimental to be gifted. For example, I gifted my dad one year with an ornamental dreidel. In my family home, we celebrate both Christmas and Hannukah, so it was fun hanging it on the tree and it was a simple gift that made my dad’s evening.
Go to a Service at Temple Shalom
Temple Shalom in Wheeling will be hosting a Hannukah performance on Friday evening, December 23 with children of the temple singing and dancing for all to enjoy. Additionally, Wheeling’s loc
al temple hosts Shabbat Service every Friday at 8 p.m. in Woodsdale at 23 Bethany Pike. The temple welcomes everyone regardless of religious background to take part in the Hannukah festivities.
So, no matter what your creed, enjoy Hannukah and celebrate with your neighbors and friends. ‘Tis the season to not only celebrate the holidays, but to celebrate each other.
• With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max.e