This year, sundown on December 1st marked the beginning of Hannukah.
Each year my parents and I (often joined by my sister and her family, and in later years Ryan) celebrate the holiday by lighting multiple menorahs, whipping up delicious tempura or eating take out potato latkes, and playing endless dreidel games with M&Ms at stake.
If the Hannukah party coincidentally falls close to Christmas, we stroll up and down nearby Peacock Lane, taking in the festive and colorful holiday lights. The last few years have been snowy, making the atmosphere even more wintery and fun.
Although we’re missing our annual Hannukah party this year, not only did my parents send us a dreidel and adorable menorah, they were sweet enough to wrap eight Hannukah presents for us, each labeled with the date on which we should open them. Ironically they’re now clustered around our little Christmas tree, with a stocking hung nearby waiting to be opened on Christmas morning. An advent calendar is hanging in the kitchen, helping us count down the days to December 25th. Our decorations symbolize my upbringing, a mix of both Hannukah and Christmas celebrations.