Chanuka 2012--our first one in the new house, and the first one with a baby. Chanuka is not such a big holiday in Judaism (definitely not as major as Christmas is for Christians), but we still have parties, hang out, eat great food, light candles, say blessings, and think about the meaning of the day.
I love bringing out my trusty menorah:
And on the first night, I hosted a party for ladies in the neighborhood. Below you can see some sufganiyot, aka jelly doughnuts--a traditional Chanuka food and one of my favorite parts of the holiday:) Ha!
I was a chilled-out hostess and only made a few things, like these peanut butter cookies with Hershey kisses....
and chocolate dipped Oreos--yum!
Later in the week, we did a small family party with a fun stack of presents (we don't do big ticket items really, just a few fun treats!)
And a closeup (ignore my last minute/"creatively" wrapped gift. At least E likes packing paper!)
Ellie was intrigued at the concept of Chanuka presents.
And then happy:
And then she got to business, tasting her gift:
The days went by all too quickly and the candles filled up.... (we light one more each night)
All too soon, each and every candle was burning bright.
It was a bittersweet Chanuka--I enjoyed the celebration, but could not stop thinking about how much darkness there is in the world. I spent most of the week thinking about the victims and their families from the Sandy Hook tragedy. Just when I thought I had to have read, or heard or seen the worst, some other interview came out in the news, sadder than the one before.
I've been trying to think what I can do to honor the victims, and decided I would take on a mitzva ("commandment," a spiritual growth) in their memory. I also see that a few million beat me to it, dpoing 26 acts of kindness in memory of those lost.
What do YOU think would be the best way to honor their memories? If you were to take on something in their memory, what would it be?