The Dreaded December Dilemma

This time of year can present challenges to our comfort level as Jews in the United States.  While I enjoy a well-sung carol, beautifully decorated homes and wait on line to see the windows at Macy’s and Lord & Taylor’s, many can and do feel challenged.  We have sufficient tools make this season more palatable, if only we would use them wisely.  The key is to seek out or create Jewish experiences for our families and us.  Chanukah offers eight days of possibilities, and one does not have to think out of the box.  Here are some possibilities:

  • Light the Chanukah menorah every evening of Chanukah with your family.  If you need help with that, please contact me.  I would be happy to assist you.

  • Invite other family and friends to celebrate together.  Have a potluck dinner or dessert.

  • Make latkes with your children or grandchildren.  It’s easy.  Every cookbook has the recipe.

  • Eat out one night at a kosher restaurant.  It is wonderful to have them in our community, but if we do not support them, they will not remain.

  • Rent a Jewish movie.

  • Play a Jewish game.  Yes, there are Jewish games other than dreidel.

  • Read Jewish books, whether borrowed from our library or the public library, purchased for a Kindle, or browsed and purchased from a real bookstore.  Listen to Jewish music. For those who subscribe to Sirius XM, on December 12 at 12:00PM on Sirius XM 77, there will be Radio Chanukah.  You can also tune in to on your computer or Smartphone for free.  

  • Seek out places that offer either regular or seasonal Jewish culture in the arts, dance and music.

  • Come to synagogue services and gather with your community.

Above are nine things to do – one for each night of Chanukah and one extra just in case.  When you do Jewish things, whether as a family, larger group, or community, that tweak of anxiety dissipates and the thrill of being Jewish in America swells.  May the glow of the Chanukah lights brighten your home beyond the eight days of Chanukah.

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