8 Simple Steps to a Meaningful Hanukkah

The following post was originally  written by contributor Robin Zipporah of The Not-Ever-Still Life in December 2009.

Hanukkah or Hanukah or Chanukah – however you spell it, it’s a perfect holiday for reflecting on parenting without fuss. This Jewish eight-day holiday, is ritually considered to be a minor festival.

Hanukkah’s proximity to Christmas on the calendar has inflated its significance and its reputation for eight days of gifts but at heart, this is a small holiday with a big idea: that thousands of years ago a group of Jews had only enough oil to light the Temple’s Eternal Light for one day, and God made a miracle happen. The oil lasted for exactly eight days – just long enough for a fleet of messengers to travel the distance to retrieve more oil. We light candles for eight nights to commemorate the miracle of the oil, and in that spirit I offer you eight activities for an enjoyable family Hanukkah.
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Thanks for Giving: Teacher Thank You’s

The following post was written by contributor Christen Babb of Nurture Baby.

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. Yes, there’s the planning, the grocery shopping, and many hours in front of the stove, but I consider this holiday to be the calm before the storm, the last chance to breathe before the busy holiday season. It’s a time to celebrate our faith, family, and friends and meditate over the many rich blessings we have in our lives.

My goal is to teach my children to savor Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving’s sake. Too often, we become bogged down with never ending  holiday to-do’s, shopping lists, and parties galore. We forget to say “thanks” in the midst of our abundant blessings.

Teacher Thank You’s

In an effort to teach my daughter to count those blessings, I let her choose a couple people she wanted to pay special thanks to. This year, she picked her two preschool teachers. We decided to make simple, homemade “Thanks for Giving” bags to let them know we love and appreciate them.

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Weekend Links

After my Advent post, my good friend Tanya pointed me in the direction of the list of Advent Family Fun at the wonderful blog By Sun and Candlelight. I wanted to share it with all of you, in case you’re still looking for some Advent planning inspiration.  Lots of great ideas there – I’m especially intrigued by the idea of cocoa popsicles and I love her “Nature Rejoices” book basket titles.

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! We’ll be  talking about Thanksgiving, manners, and Hanukkah this week. I can’t wait!