Create a family menorah

Resources• Ceramic Art Café, 26 S. LaGrange Road, LaGrange, (708) 579-3033• Clay Monet, 745 W. Route 22, Lake Zurich, (847) 540-7772• Glazed Expressions, in Downers Grove, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Oak Park, Wilmette, 

Every year we drive ourselves crazy trying to make the holidays special for our kids. We hit jam-packed malls looking for the latest, greatest toys, cook too much food and host too many parties. But what will our kids remember when the flurry of food and festivities is done?

One way to ensure kids remember more than the craze of holidays is to create something together that can be passed on for generations. And if you’re not the creative type, lots of local places can help.

“Hanukkah is a time when family comes together to celebrate the miracle of Hanukkah,” says teaching artist Glynnis Lessing."When you make a menorah you make it more personal.”

That sentiment is echoed by Tamy Jacobs, regional children’s services supervisor for Northern Region of Jewish Community Centers of Chicago.

“It is a tradition in my family to bring out all of the menorahs we have collected over the years, even the ones they made in preschool and fill our house with the Mitzvah of light,” Jacobs says.

Here are just a few ideas to help you get started filling your own home with heirlooms in honor of Hanukkah.

Studio J, 7-8:30 p.m., Nov. 28. Create a New Tradition: Make a Menorah to Add to Your Collection. School-aged children and their families are invited to build a menorah, participate in community candle lighting and enjoy a special holiday treat. 380 Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove, (847) 955-7712.

JCYS Northwest Family Center, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 2. Hanukkah Happening. Preschool-oriented program with arts and crafts, plus entertainment. Reservations required. $25, $18 in advance. 1700 Weiland Road, Buffalo Grove, (847) 279-0900.

In addition, many local paint-your-own-pottery locations have drop-in or open studio hours where families can create a menorah.

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