The December holiday season can be both delightful and stressful. This year, move beyond the pressure to give your kids eight nights of gifts and instead (or in addition) give them the gift of family time. Judaism teaches that no work is to be done while the Hanukkah candles are burning, so this year while they burn (and we can teach you about that, too!), dedicate that time to connecting with your family. You deserve this gift, too!
Here are some ideas:
Listen to music together. There is a lot of Hanukkah music out there. One option is Shira Kline’s ShirLaLa Chanukah! If you like dance parties, go for it!
Play games. Play dreidel (Here is a printable instruction sheet.) or any other game that gets you talking to each other and having fun.
Read books out loud to each other.
Do an easy craft. Make a decoration for your home. Create something together. Cut out dreidels and string them together. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Make it an evening of gratitude. Tell each other why you are grateful for one another. Make handmade thank you notes for gifts you have received.
Bake! Make cookies and decorate with blue and white frosting. Find an easy latke recipe or make applesauce to eat with your latkes. (Trader Joe’s has frozen latkes!). You can also watch a video to learn how.
Family Show and Tell. Each family member gets a turn to show something important to them and explain why. Parents can use this opportunity to teach your kids about a part of your life your kids don’t know very much about. Show them your high school yearbook, a family heirloom, something from work or your volunteer work.
Plan your next special family time. Talk about activities you would like to do as a family. Get out your calendar and find a time to dedicate to each other.
What else can you do with your family while the candles are burning? Share your ideas with us in our Facebook group.
Get in the spirit on Sunday, Dec. 10 from 2-3:30 p.m. at InterfaithFamily Chicago’s new space. Meet other families, make a menorah, eat latkes and celebrate. We will hang our mezuzah and dedicate our new home in Evanston at 922 Davis St. RSVP by Dec. 5 to firstname.lastname@example.org.