If you have small kids, Hanukkah may not look like it does in all those picture books you read to them. Everyone singing and playing calm but fun games of dreidel… not so much. Here are eight ways that Hanukkah at your house may differ from the one that your mother-in-law must be visualizing, since she rolls her eyes and sighs so much. But that’s a discussion for another day.
1. No menorah in the window. That was really beautiful and picturesque… until the baby pulled it down and you had to spray her with the fire extinguisher. No biggie, just a couple years off your life and another thousand gray hairs.
2. Dreidel games become a death match. “The nice thing about having two kids close in age is they’ll be best friends,” everyone said. Ha ha ha, don’t you dare throw that dreidel at your sister again or I’m taking it away.
3. Burned latkes. How are you supposed to cook something that requires your full attention when that dreidel stuff is going on and your baby is eyeing the menorah on the top shelf? It’s too bad that your great idea for crockpot latkes turned out so… not great.
4. Your kids show their appreciative side. Just kidding. A present a night really gets them into the spirit of, well, expecting a present every night. Forever.
5. No time off of work. So what it’s not a High Holiday? You could really use a day off to recover from wrapping 24 presents.
6. Sufganiyot-related weight gain. Yes, this is a real thing. Yes, you had to eat all of them. Because they would have gone bad. Instantly.
7. No presents for grownups. Well, at least you have Mother’s Day. IN SIX MONTHS.
8. A surfeit of crafts. Where are you going to hang three menorahs made out of handprints and three dreidels made out of tissue paper with your kids’ faces on them? Hello, presents for Grandma.
But then for the Shamash, we have…
9. All your kids’ happy faces and bellies filled with the latkes you perfected on your fifth go around. Well, that was worth it. Mostly.