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It's Chanukah! Ideas to Make Each Night Special

Renee Eder on Monday, December 26, 2016

Chanukah is an eight-day celebration commemorating the miracle of the oil. Since it began on Saturday night, my family has lit our candles, exchanged gifts, played dreidel, ate sufganiyot, and enjoyed many of the local events. Now, we're lookin for what else we can do to make every night of the holiday special.
Each night of Chanukah provides a new opportunity for families to spend quality time together. To help inspire Jewish family moments this Chanukah, PJ Library put together this list of possible evening themes. Here are some ideas:

Tzedakah dreidel night: As a family, ante up coins. Each player chooses a tzedakah recipient, and all the dreidel winnings are donated to the tzedakah cause of the winner's choice. Click here to learn how to play. P.S. All this week (December 23rd-30th), you can give your Tzedakah to the J and see someone get a whip cream pie in the face! Look for our menorah display in our lobby!

Friends and neighbors night: Invite a friend or a neighbor over. It could be someone who doesn't celebrate the holiday or maybe just someone without any family nearby. Share your family Chanukah traditions.

Skype or FaceTime night: Call a friend or relative and read a story together over the phone. Better yet, use Skype or FaceTime to light candles together, say blessings, make a recipe,` or read stories together. For more ideas, see How to Keep in Touch With Grandparents.

DIY gift night: Make Hanukkah gifts for friends or family members by hand. Need some ideas? Check out 12 Hanukkah Activities We Love. The website, Little Loving Hands also sends families boxes that include DIY and crafting ideas that help people in need.

Video night: Watch something Jewish with friends or family. Don't know where to start? Check out Shaboom! You can also stream a Hanukkah themed movie or special or head over to YouTube to watch some Hanukkah themed videos.

Sufganiyot night: One of the tastiest Hanukkah traditions involves eating foods cooked in oil. Sufganiyot are delicious fried jelly donuts. You can make your own with this recipe.

Mitzvah night: Join with another family to visit a local senior facility or read a story to elderly neighbors. Consider having your children go through toy closets to pull out donations for the local family homeless shelter.

Hope this list is helpful and that every night of Chanukah is fun and special for you and your family! If you are interested, there are two candlelighting events going on this week! Join us for the Chanukah Community Menorah Lighting (Gainesville) on Thursday, December 27at 6pm at the Virginia Gateway for community fun with latkes, donuts, entertainment, and music. The Chanukah Community Menorah Lighting (Mosaic District) is also this week on Thursday, December 29, at 5pm. Hope to see you there!

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