New Jewish Meme

Homeschuler has done it again, with a meme post just in time for the holidays. Her original meme thread (you can read it here on this site, or here in it’s original form).

Here’s how it works: Take the questions, repost it on your blog (or email it to friends, or whatever) and enjoy the answers that you get back. It is NOT a chain letter – it’s just something to while away the time until Chanukah.

Here goes:

One menorah, or several? Hillel or Shammai? (just kidding about that part)

One chanukiah for each child, plus one for the adults (my wife just loves lighting them. Obviously we light in the style of Hillel, but a wonderful friend taught us the difference by creating a “Shammai Chanukiah” – 8 “branches” of mini butterfinger candy bars taped to a page, with a giant-sized butterfinger bar as the shammes. You eat one bar off the right number of branches each night until all the bars are gone. I guess you have to see it. Guess what my next blog post is going to be?

Do you buy your children gifts for every night of Chanukah?

They get something every night, although not always from us. We insist they buy gifts for each other (praised be the Dollar Store!). While it’s better than my memories of Chanukah growing up (one good gift and seven nights of socks, toothpaste and trial-size mouthwash), there are A LOT of stickers, cloths they were going to get anyway, etc mixed into the deal.

Do you and your spouse/partner or any other adults in your life exchange gifts?

We usually get some small thing for each other, more as a token and to show the kids that nobody should be left out. My wife is waaaaay better at it than I am. I’m usually scrambling at the last minute.

Special family chanukah traditions?

Like I mentioned, the kids have to get something for each other, which is it’s own kind of funny. The year the 5 year old insisted the 17 year old wanted a plastic fire truck, or the time the 8 year old got his mother mustard and ketchup dispensers.

Latkes or sufganiyot? If latkes, sour cream or applesauce?

Both. The family prefers sweet potato latkes though. And jelly-filled donut holes from Dunkin Donuts are our sufganiyot of choice.

Favorite chanukah book?

The Chanukah Guest and Hershel and the Chanukah Goblins are tied for first place currently.

Do you actually play dreidl? If so, what do you use for counters?

How else will the kids get their daily recommended dose of M&Ms?

What relationship, if any, do you have with Christmas and all things Christmas-y?

We are always excited to visit Christmas at other people’s house in the same way we love for people to visit our house and see what we do. I’m blessed to have several friends (mostly without kids) to celebrate Christmas without presents so my kids get to talk about the real message of the holiday.

And then there’s the Red Rabbi. We heard a story several years ago, and have adopted it as our own: A friend of ours visited small yeshivah in an insulated Jewish community during Sukkot. Among the decorations in the school sukkah were several images of Santa Clause. When he asked about it, the students enthusiastically told him that they found their local store featuring the Red Rabbi in displays and so he had become part of their decorations the following year.

While I’m not sure any community could be THAT insulated, the story always makes my kids laugh, and we mention him when the holiday promotions seem interminable.