It's time for Chanukah. It's not pronounced CHA-nukah, the C is silent in Chanukah! Oh, Adam Sandler, if only your movies were as smart and funny as your Chanukah songs that we wait all year to hear!
The Festival of Lights is upon us, as Saturday marked the first night of Chanukah, so pull up a chair and prepare yourselves for a little info on the story of Chanukah and the traditions we keep. What i'm always asked is "How do you spell Chanukah?" or why do i spell it that way instead of Hanukkah. It's just preference, and i'm just partial to the Ch and one k. In a completely rational way, the other one seems harsher, all liney and everything, not like the nice hug of Ch. They mean the same things and there is no right way or wrong way.
Menorahs are like the centerpiece of all Chanukah celebrations, as we light one candle per night for 8 nights, signifying the miracle of the oil lamp burning for 8 days when it seemed there wasn't enough for even one night. This guy in the middle, called the shamas, is used to light the other candles. He sits higher than the others, and sometimes far apart. He's like the king candle. Or perhaps President Candle, since we're in a democracy and all that. Let's note that there are like 3 ways to spell shamas, too.
You see that my menorah is made of pretty flowers. Menorahs don't need to be all serious and religious, and candles need not only be in the colors of Israel-and therefore Chanukah-in blue and white. Candles are lit right to left, like the Hebrew alphabet is read. So the second night's candle will go in the yellow flower on the right, and will be lit along with the shamas and the first night's candle.
As we light each candle, we sing the prayers and thank God for latkes. Ok, not really. Shout out to new blog friend Doreen for the idea of displaying the candles.
After holiday sales at Bed Bath and Beyond yielded both the placemats and the napkins. They're one of the few places to actually have decor items pertaining to Chanukah. Some stores either have no Chanukah section (Kirklands! For shame!) or they think a bag of blue and white bows and paper goods somehow qualifies. Because, you know, i see you all decorating for Christmas with disposable plates and napkins, right? Wouldn't be very good for a mantel.
It's hard to tell, but the placemats have a silvery shimmer to them, like the napkins. You'll notice the same letters appear on the dreidels below.
Playing dreidel is pretty much gambling. As an adult, i'm wondering why we encourage this, but who am i to question years of tradition. That guy facing up means i'd have to give half my stash (money, chocolates) to the pot. I'm super cheap and a little selfish, so we rarely played that way.
My brother and i always liked to see how many we could get spinning at once. I think the record might be a whopping three. This is especially difficult with cats.
On the last night, next Saturday, this is what your menorah will look like. Remember, you will be lighting the guy in the middle (head honcho) and you will use him to light the rest, starting at the right. As far as the 8 gifts go, as children we would get little things, like movie tickets, or even just chocolates after lighting the candles. As adults, my mom and i have a tradition of the theatre subscription that allows us to meet in Phildelphia for lunch and a show, and enjoy Chanukah/birthday presents all year long.
Me to Lily: Get away, this isn't a toy.
Me to Lily: Well crap, technically it is a toy.
Me to Lily: But it isn't your toy.
Don't worry, no animals were harmed in the creating of this post. I actually couldn't believe Sunday stayed off the table.
Now where are those latkes?!
I'm enjoying this while i still can.
Thank you Debbie Doos, Craftberry Bush, and Serenity Now for featuring my pinecone holiday table. Heck yeah.
Celebrating the season at :Tablescapes @ Stone Gable, Traditions @ Jennifer Rizzo, Vignettes @ Southern Hospitality, Craftomaniac, Motivate Me Mon @ Keeping it Simple, DIY Showoff, Met Monday, Anything Goes, home stories a-z, nifty thrifty @ Coastal Charm, Tuesdays Treasures @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, be inspired @ elizabeth and co, tabletop tues, lil luna, get your craft on, sugar bee crafts. sugar and spice @ 733, wow us weds @savvy southern style, wicked awesome weds @ handy man, crafty woman, whatever goes weds @ someday crafts, 52 mantles, fall into fall, Transformation Thurs @ The Shabby Creek Cottage, vintage thingy thurs @ the colorado lady, Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple, hooking up @ house of hepworths, open house @ no minimalist here, share awesomeness @ 36th ave, tutorials and tidbits, simply link @ simply designing, Flaunt it Friday @ Chic on a Shoestring, happy hour @ Craftberry Bush, Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest, feature yourself fri @ Fingerprints on the fridge, Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity now, free for all @ 5days5ways, Feathered Nest @ French Country Cottage, frugalicious friday @ finding fabulous, potpourri @ 2805, thrifty things fri @ the thrifty groove, show and tell fri @ my romantic home, overflowing w/ creativity @ it's overflowing, nifty thrifty sundays, under the table and dreaming., shaken together, seasonal sundays @ the tablescaper, tablescape thurs @ between naps on the porch, xmas tablescapes @ stone gable, xmas tour @ nesting place, xmas vignettes @ a thoughtful place