Family Fun     Work + Home     Home    

3 ways to celebrate Hanukkah with your family



simple ways to spend time together during the holiday

Menorah lighting, holiday lights, Menorah lights, Menorah candles, Hanukkah family
December is my favorite time of year and the month of sparkling lights. From Christmas decorations to the Hanukkah menorah candles the spirit of the season is evident no matter what you celebrate. The lights of the season become a symbol of hope for many families as they gather for 8 days with songs, prayer, good food, games and candle lighting. Below are 3 ways to celebrate the season.

1. Give and support. Hanukkah is a celebration of religious freedom. The 8 days of Hanukkah can be a time to remember when people stood up to “bullies” and fought for that they wanted and believed in, they fought for themselves. A great way to celebrate is to give back. You can support Israel and Israelis through The Good People Fund, an organization that provides resources on charities in Israel. But you don’t have to give money to support Israel, have your kids send cards and pictures to soldiers, start a pen pal with another child living in Israel or honor the history with 8 days of random acts of kindness!

2. Celebrate your own history and culture. Hanukkah is a holiday that 
Accordion-Bookshows the importance of history. You don’t need to celebrate Hanukkah or be Jewish to think about your own heritage this time of year. Talk to relatives, do a little digging and create a family tree, family history album or just talk to your kids about your heritage and culture. I love these interview questions for Grandparents found on The House of Hendrix Blog (perfect for family gatherings during the holidays). The holiday time no matter what you celebrate is a wonderful time for taking a little look back into history with our kids.

READ MORE: Awesome menorah lightings and events to celebrate the holiday!


3. One of my favorite things about the Hanukkah celebrations is the food! For me a wonderful potato latke this time of the year truly hits the spot. Whip up a batch for dinner tonight! If cooking isn’t quite your thing you might have to do a little searching for a true Kosher Deli or good potato Latke in the area but it isn’t impossible. New City Kosher Deli & Restaurant  looks to be one of the few remaining in our area but with high ratings and great reviews it just might be worth the drive to Rockland County this week. If you are up for a cooking treat, here is a delicious Potato Latke recipe from FoodandWine.com.

latkes

  1. 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  2. Sea salt
  3. 2 pounds baking potatoes
  4. 1 large onion, finely diced
  5. 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  6. 1 cup matzo meal
  7. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  8. Vegetable oil, for frying
  9. Applesauce, crème fraîche, smoked salmon, salmon roe and dill sprigs, for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, cover the Yukon Gold potatoes with cool water, season generously with salt and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain well and immediately pass the potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl.
  2. Working quickly, peel and grate the baking potatoes on the large holes of a box grater into a medium bowl. Press with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Add half of the grated potatoes to the riced potatoes.
  3. Transfer the remaining grated potatoes to the bowl of a food processor. Add the onion and pulse until the potatoes and onions are very finely chopped. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and press with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the potato-onion mixture to the large bowl. Stir in the eggs, matzo meal, white pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1/4 inch of oil until shimmering. Working in 3 batches, spoon 1/4 cup of the potato mixture into the oil for each latke; press slightly to flatten. Fry over moderate heat, turning once, until the latkes are golden and crisp on both sides, about 7 minutes. Drain the latkes on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt. Serve with applesauce, crème fraîche, smoked salmon, salmon roe and dill.


READ MORE: Avoid holiday spending stress

And most importantly, spend time together. Whether you go out and celebrate, give gifts or cook, the true spirit of the season is about celebrating with your loved ones and making memories together. Don’t let the commercialization of the season let you lose sight of the the most important thing we can give our children this month, our time and love.


Other articles by Pam Perry


  • Kid-friendly theatre in the Hudson Valley this winter

    Experience the theatre at any of these family-friendly productions

    Don't let the enormity of the big stage scare you from bringing children to experience the theater. From school productions to the big stage theaters we have a number of opportunities in the Hudson Valley to foster your child's love of shows. read more »
  • How to Make Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

    CSA inspired Easter fun for kids

    Learn how to dye your Easter eggs using farm vegetables and spices. Visit your local farm market for the freshest produce and even eggs! read more »
  • 10 Family Friendly Halloween Movies

    Grab some cider and popcorn

    There is nothing better than ending a night of trick or treating snuggled up on the couch with a good Halloween movie. So, grab some cider and popcorn we have a great list of 10 movies your family will love. read more »
  • Family Friendly Leaf Peeping

    Enjoy the regions beautiful fall foliage

    We asked around to local Hudson Valley Moms and compiled a list of favorite family friendly places for fall foliage sightings in our area! read more »
  • 30 things to do this June

    Find family-fun every day this month

    From festivals to movies under the stars the family-fun really kicks up a notch this month. Rounding up something fun to do every day of the week all month long read more »
  • Places to take dad on Father's Day

    Find a family-fun spot for every kind of dad

    Sometimes it can be difficult finding something everyone likes to do though there is no shortage of activities in the Hudson Valley. read more »
  • 6 Live performances for families this spring

    Experience the theater at any of these family-friendly productions

    Don't let the enormity of the big stage scare you from bringing children to experience the theater. From school productions to the big stage theaters we have a number of opportunities in the Hudson Valley to foster your child's love of shows. read more »
  • 10 Hudson Valley Campgrounds

    Spend some time with your family in the great outdoors this summer

    Camping is a great way to unplug and spend quality time together before the hectic routines of school begin again. If adventuring out into the wilderness isn't quite your thing you can still bring the campsite lifestyle home. read more »
  • Happy National Sibling Day

    Places in the Hudson Valley siblings can play together

    In honor of National Siblings Day here are a few of our favorite places siblings of any age can enjoy. read more »
  • Celebrate Earth Day

    Family-friendly Earth Day celebrations in the Hudson Valley

    Learn how you can help take care of the earth, animals and nature with various celebrations and workshops throughout the Hudson Valley in celebration of Earth Day read more »