Re: Anyone celebrate Chanukah?
Well, this is probably not that helpful to you, because we also did Christmas in a secular way as a family holiday simply because we always did extended family visits and for convenience's sake it's easier to travel over Christmas every year than Hannukah.
For Hannukah, we did candle lighting, did the prayers, and did 8 days of presents. One was always a calendar for the next year to put up in our rooms, one was always a new pair of jammies, and one was something we collect. For me this was a charm for my charm bracelet and for my brother it was obviously something to his interests. The rest of the days was always books. We did a large dinner on the first night with family around us, and then the rest of the time we were by ourselves. We did songs, dreidel, stories (when we were little there were kids' picture books with the stories of Hannukah).
For Christmas, my parents referred to it as a family holiday, and there was Santa Claus (which my aunt actually referred to as Chana Claus to have some generality among the holiday when we were really little) but he basically represented generosity and a giving spirit. Nothing religious at all about the day. We did a tree, loved decorating the tree, had lights up, etc. I love the baking and the music and all, and will probably continue the traditions with my DS. We baked Hannukah and Christmas cookies.
We have a lovely menorah that was passed down to us. I also use Christmas tree ornaments passed down to me, and I like the ritualistic part of taking everything out every year and setting it all up, largely at the same time.
ETA food! Latkes and applesauce was a tradition, as was blintzes but I think that may be just traditional to my dad's family. And we played Scrabble for some reason the first night, not sure why, lol
Last edited by Hungry Caterpillar; 11-12-2012 at 11:25 AM.