Follow Kveller

You are browsing the archive for Hanukkah.

Dec 14 2012

An Obscene Amount of Princesses for Hanukkah

By at 11:46 am

There’s no easy way to put this, so I’m just going to come right out and say it.

I bought my daughters an obscene amount of princess toys for Hanukkah. No, not organic, hand-made, gender-neutral princess dolls who are engineers in their free time. I’m talking straight-up plastic, Disney, hot-off-the-shelves-of-the-big-box-store, probably-made-by-Taiwanese-orphans, useless-without-a-handsome-prince-to-save-them princesses.

I got them these. And these. And then I bought them this. And this. I wrapped them all up and gave them to my daughters for Hanukkah. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2012

Have Yourself a Vodka Latke Party

By at 4:00 pm

My favorite holiday memories revolve around my mother’s Hanukkah parties.

Three generations of Americans, Israelis, and Russians gathered in our small home by moonlight, their stories and voices and accents braiding together.

Old Hanukkah tapes would play, the almost-twangy music filling the spaces between food and loud and food and talk and food and fun.

Latkes were eaten, sufganiyot were devoured, and more than a few dreidels were spun.

My memories of these parties are golden, and their lesson equally bright: Hanukkah is meant to be a celebration. A fun one.

Today, my husband Jason and I are ready to create our own version of my mother’s parties for our (adult!) friends, with a twist.

Enter: The Vodka Latke Party. Read the rest of this entry →

Eight Nights of Hanukkah Gift Mistakes

By at 12:45 pm

Yes, of course, anyone who gives your children Hanukkah presents is super-nice, thoughtful, and should be thanked for being such a good person. That being said, here are eight Hanukkah gifts that should be marked “return to sender.”

1. “Sand art” kit: I’ve said it before and will say it again: anyone who gives your child a sand art kit secretly hates you. They don’t hate your kid–they hate YOU. Because there is no imaginable scenario in which the opening of the box of sand art does not end with you having arguably toxic sand permanently embedded in your floor, clothing, and home generally. On the plus side, now someone no longer hates you in secret! Read the rest of this entry →

Cinnamon-Sugar Coconut Doughnuts–A 15-Minute Hanukkah Recipe

By at 9:21 am

If you’re still looking for new recipes for these last days of Hanukkah, look no further than this simple treat from Sina Mizrahi, author of the kosher food blog The Kosher Spoon.

For those who are especially busy during the week, make these easy 15-minute Cinnamon-Sugar Coconut Doughnuts. They are a breeze to make, requiring no yeast or rising time. Their texture is perfectly fluffy, with the dough being dense like cake rather than airy like traditional doughnuts. They are also moderately sweet, and the coconut gives a hint of flavor that’s pronounced yet subdued. A wonderful recipe for your busy, light-filled Hanukkah.

Cinnamon-Sugar Coconut Doughnuts Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 11 2012

Mom Stays In the Picture: Hanukkah Edition

By at 4:37 pm

Tamara and her kiddos

One of the most popular posts of late on the Huffington Post was one by Allison Tate about moms staying in the picture.

Her piece has been shared almost seven hundred thousand times not only because it was powerful and true and speaks to deep insecurities that so many of us carry, but because it was a call to action. When I look back at pictures of my own mother from when I was a toddler, I see nothing but beauty. While I have very few actual memories of that person I can see that she is young, happy, and bursting with love for the little red-headed girl she carries in the pictures. And every time I see one of those pictures I think to myself, “I wish there were more.” Read the rest of this entry →

Celebrating War in a Time of Peace

By at 3:50 pm


I have a shocking bit of information for TV producers, magazine editors, and greeting card writers everywhere: Hanukkah is not Christmas.

While this may be obvious to some, the subtle differences in the two celebrations appear to have been skimmed over by many in popular culture who have decided that, since both take place in December, and we don’t want to be insensitive to non-Christians, let’s make sure that whenever we talk about “the holiday season” we take great pains to point out how Hanukah and Christmas are each about peace on Earth, goodwill towards men, and universal brotherhood.  Read the rest of this entry →

Hanukkah Activities for Kids with Special Needs

By at 2:30 pm

special ed hanukkahHanukkah is well into the swing of things, but it’s important to remember that celebrating Hanukkah in a meaningful way isn’t always easy for families who have kids with special needs.

Gateways: Access to Jewish Education is an agency for Jewish special education, and they’ve compiled a great list of eight tips for an accessible, child-friendly Hanukkah for all families. From using strong visuals to supplement the Hanukkah blessings to Hanukkah-themed games that can also help develop social skills, these tips come from professionals in the field and can be easily applied to most family celebrations. Check out the tips here on Jewish Boston, and let us know if you have any great tips to add in the comments below. Happy Hanukkah to all!

The Fifth Night Project: Teaching Giving During Hanukkah

By at 11:15 am

box of toy donations for charityLet’s face it; in order to help Jewish children from feeling left out of the Christmas season, Hanukkah has lost much of it’s traditional meaning and has become a holiday based around eight nights of presents. Customarily, Hanukkah is celebrated with candles, dreidels, and latkes; the eight crazy nights of toys and books was only added to compete with Christmas. Read the rest of this entry →

A Christmas Lesson for My Jewish Son

By at 9:41 am

“…and I tried a new recipe this year, orange zested cranberry sauce. I think it was a hit. And the turkey! You should have seen the turkey we–”

My friend, who I had been catching up with, suddenly stopped mid-sentence. He glanced over at me, an apologetic look taking over his face.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Do you, you know, even celebrate Thanksgiving?”

My raised eyebrow and pointed stare were enough for him to start backpedaling. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 10 2012

Inspiration for the Sixth Night: A Mexican Hanukkah

By at 4:08 pm

Let’s be honest; by the sixth night of Hanukkah, the magic can wear thin.

Yet Deborah De Costa’s beautiful children’s book Hannukkah Moon reminds us that the sixth night of Hanukkah is a particularly special night of the holiday. The title refers to the appearance of the new moon on the sixth night, signalling the arrival of the Jewish month of Tevet. Jewish tradition celebrates each new month with additional prayers and historically giving women a half day off to connect with the cycles of the moon. In that sense, the sixth night should be doubly important. De Costa’s take goes beyond ancient traditions and adds a wonderful and inspiring dimension to the sixth night. Read the rest of this entry →


Recently on Mayim