9 Ways to Celebrate Hanukkah

Just because you aren't Jewish doesn't mean you can't celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Many people now celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, even if they don't practice Judaism. Hanukkah is a great opportunity for you to expose your children to other religions.{relatedarticles} More than just a learning experience, it also provides you with the chance to teach tolerance to your children and emphasize the importance of respecting cultures and religions other than your own. Like most of the winter holidays, your children are likely to be attracted to the notion of receiving a gift every night for eight days. Instead of buying a bunch of gifts which likely won't have any meaning to the kids, invest in candles, dreidels, menorahs and ingredients used to prepare a traditional Hanukkah feast. Brush up on your own history by teaching your children the meaning behind Hanukkah. Teach your family the meaning behind the menorah and make it a practice to light a candle each day. Enjoy playing the dreidel game with the kids.

Have the kids help prepare a traditional Hanukkah meal such as brisket, potato pancakes, donuts and other foods. Include them on both the shopping and the preparation. Do your homework beforehand so you can explain to the kids what the symbolism is behind the food traditions of Hanukkah.{relatedarticles} If you decide you want presents to play a role in your Hanukkah celebrations, make a Hanukkah box that contains a small presents. Allow your child to open one each night. Although the gifts may come and go, the knowledge they attain about this special holiday will live on forever.