Hanukkah Round Up

What a lovely holiday it’s been.

We’ve decorated. We’ve spun our dreidles.  We’ve eaten way too many latkes. We’ve mailed our cards far and wide.  We’ve shipped packages of fun to lots of people we love.  We’ve watched The Maccabeats on You Tube over and over and over again {are they awesome or what?!}.

In our house, the last two nights of Hanukkah traditionally are our special nights.

The 7th night is Mommy & Daddy’s gift and this year we gave them a “family experience.” The girls are huge fans of our aquarium and are now finally both old enough so they received a “certificate” for a Penguin Encounter where we’ll spend the day at the aquarium and get to sit in a small room with an expert and learn more about the birds with actual penguins waddling around us and interacting!  We’re all pretty excited and I loved eavesdropping as they tried to explain completely out of context to their friends the next morning about the gift, LOL.  Here’s a “not so primped but captures the moment” picture of them opening the gift bag with stuffed penguins, a book about penguins, and a certificate explaining our day.

The 8th night of Hanukkah in our home has been dubbed “The Gift of Giving.”  All year The Cuties put their allowance in their piggy banks divided spend, save and share.

We let them make the decision each week as to how much to put in each section, and on the last night of Hanukkah each year, after we light the candles, instead of opening presents for themselves, they open that section of their banks and count it up together.  Cute Husband and I then match their contribution and The Cuties select a charity or two where they’d like to donate their money.  This year they chose The World Wildlife Fund {we’ve got an animal theme going on in our house lately} and Boundless Playgrounds.  If you’re not familiar with Boundless Playgrounds, I urge you to peruse their website and see if there’s a playground in your community {we are lucky enough to have several near us}.  They are amazing spaces and the history of the organization especially touches our family’s heart.

When I write the check, I always include a little note, explaining that this donation is really from our daughters, and EVERY single organization has sent The Cuties a personal letter back talking to them about exactly how their contribution will be used to help people.  I’m so thankful and it’s been great at impressing upon the girls how important it is to share our blessings with others.

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2 Responses to Hanukkah Round Up

  1. i wanna celebrate for all eight nights, saying ay yo, spin the dreidel. 3 bloggy friends told me about it, and no lie, i probably watched the clip about 20 times just to sing a long. LOVE it! what a great thing you-and the little ones-do for the charities. that’s really special!

  2. How wonderful, and I love your 8th night tradition; what a lovely way to bring the holiday full circle year by year. I wish I’d thought of this when my OWN Cuties were young!
    (BTW the glittered dreidels? Awesome.)
    Our daughters are both scattered away at graduate schools — one 3000 miles way — so we will not be doing our latke feast until they are home after 12/15. Sometimes you just need to adapt!

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