I know my love for the festival of lights started at an early age, but it's hard to pinpoint the reason. It might have been because Hanukkah meant Christmas lights decorated the streets, snowflakes covered the ground, and jolly singing filled the air. It also might have been because I grew up receiving eight, pretty bomb and spectacular (in every sense of the word) days of presents, while my friends only lived through one. (I recall opening up three American Girl Dolls one year; three.)
Or maybe it was the food. Although I grew up well accustomed to sufganiyot, latkes & gelt, I was convinced until ninth grade that all Jewish families kicked off the first night with a festive Hanukkah dinner at McDonald's. Year after year, my mom told us about how the oil used in the french fries and chicken nuggets and reminds us of the story of Hanukkah. (Important article takeaway: My mother is fantastic.)
There are plenty of reasons why Hanukkah started out as my favorite holiday, however it remains my favorite today for reasons more identified. Hanukkah is a special time for my family to be together and celebrate our love for one another and our Judaism. Lighting the Menorah is such a special time to me. It is a ritual that remains the same each year, but each Shamash you light feels as memorable as your first.
To this day, one of the greatest triumphs in the Donohue household is being selected by my mom to light the Hanukkah candles.
I have always been proud to be Jewish. After coming to college, I have learned that if I am not and if I don't savor the holidays, nobody else will. Hanukkah is one of those times I can appreciate what it means to be me and share time with the ones I love the most.
My mom still wraps eight presents for me. This year, one night was a page full of Hanukkah nail decals. By far the coolest nail accessory spotted all year!
Although I have had my blog since May, I am still getting into the groove of posting on a consistent basis. I would never forgive myself if I did not make an effort to post a Happy Hanukkah (even if it is belated) to all my friends who celebrate!
Chag Urim Sameach!