Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chanukah 1st Night

Chanukah officially starts at sundown December 21st and then will continue for 8 days. Our family tradition is to open gifts on the 1st and 8th nights and have theme nights the other days (like game night, watch Fiddler on the Roof night, decorate dreidals night, etc.)

With the big Road Trip (more on this later) and Chanukah overlapping, we decided to start Chanukah on December 18th and open all gifts the 1st night. It is good to a Reform Jew!

The kids and I actually put out Chanukah decorations last Saturday. I transported a large box of special Chanukah items to Mexico: 7 Hanukkiah (the nine-branched candleholder), along with many books, wall hangings, dreidals and other good stuff.

Each night at sundown we light the shammes candle (server or lighter candle) and use it to light 1 candle the 1st night, 2 candles the 2nd night, on and on till we light all 8 candles on the 8th night. Each family member lit their own special Hanukkiah.

Youngest Son read his own Chanukah book he made when he was 3 years old - ahhh. Oldest Son read the 2 blessings, also known as brachos, which are spoken each of the eight nights of Chanukah. Together, we all said a special 3rd blessing which is only said on the 1st night:

Barukh atah Adonai, Elohaynu, melekh ha-olam
she-hecheeyanu v'keey'manu v'heegeeyanu la- z'man ha-zeh (Amein)

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, king of the universe
who has kept us alive, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this season (Amen)

Oh Yeah – then it was then crazy present time! The kids had made us the sweetest message and laid it out to surprise us. Highlights included Star Wars Action Figures, Professor Noggin Games, Puzzles, Superman PJs, LOTS of Books, Risk Game, Sequence Game, and Charades Game. Husband got an AWESOME portable Chess set and I got very cool sterling silver dangle earrings.


Steve Cotton said...

Photographs. Gifts. Love for each other and the One who created it all. Thank you for sharing your blessings.

Theresa in Mèrida said...

I just love the Noah's Ark Hanukkiah. These posts are very special to me, thank you so much for sharing.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

S & T - I always have fun with our Jewish holidays. The Noah's Ark Hanukkiah has special meaning for Youngest Son - hmmmmmm

Amanda said...

Although we are not Jewish we have talked about celebrating Hanukkah because we are Christians who believe the bible. I love the 8 days of concentrated celebration, and learning for God. And also I love the Noahs Ark set so cool. Thanks for Sharing I look forward to seeing how you celebrate the rest of it.