Hanukkah Traditions from Our Community

The holiday season is when family & friends come together.

Loved ones join in celebrating the year they’ve had and look forward to what the next year may bring. With it, often comes delicious food, heart-warming traditions, and of course, it’s made even better when you get to share it with your loved ones. Hanukkah has been celebrated for centuries, and families all over the world still do today. We wanted to get a glimpse of what this holiday means to some of YOU, the members of our LS community. Here’s what you had to share about Hanukkah traditions with kids, friends, family, and loved ones.

It’s all about the food

Hanukkah is about family time and celebration. The holiday begins with my husband making latkes for our family dinners, all our neighbors, and friends. Each night before we eat dinner, we light our menorahs. After our meal we have an advent calendar that I fill with a piece of chocolate and a clue to find something special.
~Barbara S.

My three little boys and I love to play dreidel during the Hanukkah holiday but our favorite night is always when we make a giant hot cocoa tray - full of gelt, other chocolates, cookies, and marshmallows. We eat it up while we play dreidel. Dreidel is a fun game where you spin a wooden top and depending on what Hebrew letter it lands on you get to take a piece of chocolate gelt or have to put a piece back. Jewish families have played it on Hanukkah for generations and we love it!
~Marion H.

There’s a reason it’s called the Festival of Lights

We always go downtown for the lighting of the menorah by my Rabbi and then I go to my moms with the rest of the family to celebrate and have dinner. I love that Little Sleepies is inclusive.
~Jessica A.

Last year my son was 9-10 months old and his grandparents, from Israel, were with us for the start of the holiday. Lighting candles and singing songs with him for the first time was incredible. To see his wonder and awe was amazing.
~Kim J.

Always made better with family & friends

My grandfather started collecting his loose change in a jar when my oldest cousin was a little girl (she’s 40 now!). Every year at Hanukkah he dumped the jar on the floor and all the cousins counted the coins and then split them. It was such a fun tradition and now my dad does it for my own little girl! Another fun tradition is inviting over our non-Jewish friends and neighbors for each night of Hanukkah. They help us make latkes, we say the blessings, and play dreidel! It’s a fun way to teach others about our holiday and traditions.
~Tracey E.

We have Hanukkah all 8 nights but one of the nights we celebrate with a group of our friends and their kids, who went to nursery school with our kids.
~Brooke W.

Our family celebrates Hanukkah and Christmas. Hanukkah traditions with our kids are SO much fun, as everything is magical in their eyes.

We celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights. We light our menorah and give the kids a gift. The past couple of years we started hiding the gifts around the house and giving the kids clues about where to find them. The kids love this Hanukkah scavenger hunt.

Our family also gets together with my extended family for an annual Hanukkah party with dreidel, latkes, and yummy food.
~Robin S.

It’s truly a joy to hear about our community’s family Hanukkah traditions! We’d love to hear more, so please share how you’ll be celebrating Hanukkah with kids this year below in the comments.


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