A little early for Chanukah, but here goes…
One menorah, or several? Hillel or Shammai? (just kidding about that part)
Ted has one, the big kids have one. I was thinking of letting Naomi Rivka light her own this year. Everybody’s is oil except Elisheva Chaya, who uses candles because the spaces on her menorah are too close together.
Do you buy your children gifts for every night of Chanukah?
No gifts, please! We give money. A few years ago we challenged the older kids – asking them whether they’d prefer $20 the first day and nothing else the whole time or 10 cents the first day, doubling every single day. Bit of a math challenge. Elisheva let YM do the math and they’ve taken the doubling every single year since.
Do you and your spouse/partner or any other adults in your life exchange gifts?
Sometimes – sporadically. One year I did papier mache; one year, I challenged myself to find dollar-store gifts for absolutely everybody… sometimes I buy nice stuff for some people or make something for a few people. Definitely sporadic!
Special family chanukah traditions?
Party at my parents’ house. This year, my mother’s house. I make traditional latkes from scratch for the party… the rest of the time I’ll use a mix or make weird, asian-fusion type latkes.
Latkes or sufganiyot? If latkes, sour cream or applesauce?
Latkes, definitely. With SUGAR!!! It’s my father’s family’s minhag. Sounds weird: potatoes with sugar. But it’s delicious. I think of it as Jewish funnel cakes.
Favorite chanukah book?
Hate almost all of them. Because there are SO many. Why can’t somebody write a great Shavuos book???
Do you actually play dreidl? If so, what do you use for counters?
We try. The big kids have done it with Chanukah gelt. You can actually play an interesting Yahtzee-type game with a dreidel. I’d like to try that again this year and see if we can’t get all the rules worked out.
What relationship, if any, do you have with Christmas and all things Christmas-y?
None! I try to forget it’s out there. But secretly, I love it. When I was single, I used to watch midnight mass live from Washington D.C. If I could, I’d sneak out to see it in person. Just part of my “all-things-Catholic” obsession. Hey, I even wound up with the wonderful, sweet Catholic boy… who’s now a really good Jew!