Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eight Craaaazy Nights!


Chanukah is coming, Chanukah is coming!

Let's be clear. Chanukah is not the Jewish version of Christmas, nor is it nearly as big a deal - or as much fun - as Christmas. But just like Christmas, Chanukah has its own traditions, ones that are meaningful & fun &, my favorite, delicious. So while the rest of the blogosphere is writing about trees & garlands & "Home Alone," I thought I'd share some Chanukah thoughts. Eight, to be exact.
  1. Let's start with the obvious: Yes, there are as many ways to spell this holiday's name as there are days to the holiday. Maybe more. I have opted to go with "Chanukah" for no real reason other than double K's border on Klan-like.

  2. My mother is making a Chanukah meal for me & Nathan tonight, even though the holiday doens't begin until tomorrow (she works Wednesday nights). Said meal will include a roasted chicken with potatoes, onions & carrots & a side of matzah ball soup - which is quite possibly my least favorite food on the planet, as I am firmly of the belief that it tastes like stomach acid.

  3. Speaking of Chanukah food, last year's Chanukah party blew all other Chanukah parties out of the parted waters (Jew joke, get it?!). What I wouldn't give for a second coming of Latkapocalypse...


  4. After a quick Twitter convo, one of my favorite Jewish musicians, the talented & hilarious @julieannsilver, sent me a free copy of her 2006 Chanukah album, "It's Chanukah Time." Of course, I love her even more for going with my preferred spelling. (P.S.: This in no ways means I've given up on N*SYNC's "Home for Christmas" or my newly acquired copy of Hanson's "Snowed In.")

  5. On a related note, to my knowledge there's no such thing as a good Chanukah movie. I do, however, own all four "Home Alone" movies. Yes, four, though only the first two are worth watching. And the fourth, if you're sick or snowed in. And even then, you should first watch "Elf" instead. Smiling's my favorite.

  6. My mom gave up on Chanukah decorations when I was still a preteen, finally admitting that classy Chanukah decorations are about as realistic as Barack Obama having an affair with Sarah Palin. Instead, she amassed an extensive collection of holiday-neutral decorations: snowmen! I put them up today & am in love. See also: desperately wishing I had a place of my own to decorate as I see fit.


  7. I still want a Christmas tree (& this post from last year is still one of my favorite I've ever written.) In the meantime, I'm swooning over the new menorah my uncle gave me, on the far left:


  8. Annnd finally: Though I love my new riding boots & the various other Chanukah gifts I've already received from friends & family, I'd like to take a moment to remind everyone - Jewish, Christian, secular & otherwise - that the holiday season isn't just about consumerism. Rather, this is a time when we have the abundant opportunity to spread holiday cheer in the form of bettering the world. For starters, check out the Religious Action Center's Social Justice Chanukah Gift Guide, a guide to suggestions for gift-giving that will make the world a better place. Many of the suggestions are not Jewish-specific - from fair trade coffee to community supported agriculture (CSA) shares to a $10 donation to send an anti-malarial bed net to an African village, there are plenty of ideas applicable to people of all faiths & no faith alike. Whatever you celebrate, put some thought - & compassion - into your gift-giving this year.
And do yourself a gift-giving favor, too: Enter my giveaway to win a $25 credit to Oh! Nuts, good toward the purchase of anything from their site you like - pistachios & cookies & candy, oh my!

    29 comments:

    Stephanie M said...

    this is really interesting! and, you're right, the christmas tree post is quite good, also :)

    San said...

    Kate, thanks so much for sharing some of your holiday traditions. To be honest, I don't know much Chanukah at all .
    I love that you adopted the snowman as a neutral holiday decoration. Snowmen are fun! :)

    Happy Chanukah! (do you say that? ;))

    Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

    happy hanukkah (however you spell it) to you! my dad is jewish and my mom is christian, so i get the best of both! ;)

    lexa said...

    I am such a fan of the sweet potato latke. Also, I will take your matzo ball soup.

    It is true re consumerism. You know I love my things, but I have found myself saying "yes" a lot lately when asked to give a dollar to St Jude or slipping money in the Salvation Army canister.

    Stephany said...

    Thanks for posting this - it was really interesting to read! I will admit that I learned most of my Chanukah knowledge from The Baby-Sitters Club. ;)

    My mom is obsessed with snowmen. About 95% of our decorations are snowmen decorations, which is fine with me. Snowmen are cute! :)

    Drew said...

    I chose to spell it chanukah too. Also, what is up with the lack of classy decorations? Seriously disappointing. This is the first year I found decent cards.:-)

    Happy Chanukah!

    Arielle said...

    "Chanukah" is also MY preferred spelling. Woohoo!

    rachelsmiles said...

    Happy Chanukah! I'm having a latke party tonight and you will be there in spirit! Also, I love those snowmen :)

    Cara said...

    Happy Hanukkah to you! hope you get to enjoy some latkes... I am having a hanukkah party tonight and I fear I made way too many. Wait, is that even possible?

    Vicki said...

    Awww. Hag sameach. Now you're getting me all in the mood, too. No good Hanukah movies? How about Rugrats?! Eh, eh?

    K8zimm said...

    I'm a huge fan of latkes. In fact, I might just have to make some this weekend in honor of YOU!

    emmysuh said...

    I was raised Methodist but one of my childhood best friends was Jewish and I got to go and celebrate with her a few times over the years, I always enjoyed the experience!

    Lacey Bean said...

    Happy Hanukkah! (I like that spelling) :)

    I wont be home tonight, but told the husband that he has the twist the bulbs on the menorah for me tonight cause we have a plug-in like my parents had and thats how I ROLL. Haha.

    And our Christmas tree too, of course. I plug in those lights the minute I get home.

    skinny_dip said...

    Reading over the Latkapocalypse entry is making me miss the 24-hour Jewish deli that recently closed in my neighborhood. It was so delicious :(

    & your snowmen are adorable.

    Happy Chanukah!

    Sara said...

    My mom has a snowman collection, too. In fact, she has some of those exact same snowmen.

    Is there a possibility that we have the same mother?

    Lorraine said...

    Holy fudge, what is it with moms and snowmen? The snowmen have officially invaded my mom's house too.

    Also, my best friend is Jewish and she was recently raving about matzah ball soup. I was feeling a little jealous and left out, but it tastes like stomach acid... I FEEL BETTER NOW.

    mandy said...

    I love all the holiday traditions and the stories behind those traditions. Happy Hanukkah!

    My mom prefers to decorate in snowmen too, then they can be left up all winter after the Christmas decorations are packed away.

    Katie said...

    I personally prefer the Hanukkah spelling. This is simply because it's the only one I can accurately remember how to spell.

    Also? Happy First Night of Hanukkah. I'm thinking Latke thoughts. Is that disgraceful? I'm so bad with these things. :)

    Sara @ Purses Pastries Etc... said...

    Very interesting post and I totally agree with you about avoiding consumerism -- it's way too rampant!
    Hope you have a great holiday!

    Thanks for entering my GIVEAWAY! :)

    Kristin & Megan said...

    There are FOUR Home Alones? I thought they stopped at three. HA! I watch the first two over and over during the holidays!

    Jaime said...

    I linked to your post and you etsy store. I love your writing and your jewelry! I also love that you own all 4 Home Alone movies!!

    Nora_L said...

    I love this post! So fun. Thanks for sharing... now I want to go listen to holiday music (again, for the millionth time already) and do more online Christmas shopping!

    Van said...

    Thanks for all the information on the holiday :) I love the pictures, too. Lovely blog: I'm a new follower!

    gem said...

    Oh man, I'm not Jewish but I totally almost got a menorah when I was watching my roommate shop the other day. And oh man, I want latkes so badly. Oh man, I'm totally having my own Chanukah up in here.

    steph anne said...

    Ooh, I enjoyed reading this post because to be honest I don't really know anything about Chanukah. Weee, you're awesome! :)

    terra said...

    Latkapocalypse!?! I want to go to there.

    My ex was a Jew. A non-practicing Jew, but the grandson of an amazing woman who escaped the Holocaust in Germany due to the amazing efforts of her mother and then, once safe in the USA, founded the first synagogue in Williamsburg, Virginia. Since they had a big family, they'd do big Chanukah dinner and I miss the food so, so much. Her latkes were amazing - AMAZING - and the ones I made the other night? Not even close.

    The Owl Diary said...

    Four Home Alones-- Now that is impressive. & I've already watched Elf this holiday season and want to watch it again. But I don't think you can ever watch this movie too many times during December.

    Happy Chanukah!

    The Owl Diary said...

    Four Home Alones-- Now that is impressive. & I've already watched Elf this holiday season and want to watch it again. But I don't think you can ever watch this movie too many times during December.

    Happy Chanukah!

    Liz said...

    Fun! Thanks for sharing your traditions :)

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