December 21 11

…and while we are sleeping, the candles are burning low. One for each night, they shed a sweet light…

Emily! I’m pretty sure the word is playing, not sleeping.

No Mama, it’s sleeping. That’s how the song goes.

Do you think it’s safe to leave a menorah with candles burning and just go to sleep?

I dunno. 

I bet those same people just leave their frying pans on the stove too, eh?

Why am I having this conversation with you, Mama?

I don’t know. We really should be spending our time stuffing our faces with fried foods and chocolate gelt.

I agree. 

At least we agree about something.

Well, we also both agree that Ozzy got robbed.

You speak the truth, young Padawan. Now pass me some latkes.

Happy Hanukkah, internet.

Or Happy Chanukah, if you are so inclined.

That’s the beauty of this holiday! Spell it how you want! It’s all good! It’s a celebration, after all!

We Jews certainly know how to celebrate. Sure, we have some holidays like Yom Kippur where we spend an entire 25 hours fasting and praying while we don’t wear any makeup or leather shoes and we hit our chests a million times. But then! Oh, internet, then we have holidays like Shavuot, where we are basically COMMANDED to eat dairy products for two days straight. I kid you not. Bring on the blintzes and the cheesecakes and the cheeeeeese! And then, there’s Hanukkah! Where we light beautiful candles for eight nights and are basically commanded to eat jelly-filled doughnuts (called sufganiyot)(I don’t dig on jelly…so we fill ours with such lovely things as salted caramel and vanilla icing) and potato latkes and chocolate coins and spin dreidels.

It’s all about oil, you see. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some evil people were persecuting Jews (Yes. It’s a theme in our religion…) By a small, small miracle, a small groups of awesome people  (The Maccabees!!) defeated one of the largest armies ever. And then when they went to light their menorah in the temple, they had but a wee amount of oil…BUT, THEN A MIRACLE HAPPENED and the tiny bit of oil lasted for an entire eight days. So, we celebrate this awesomeness and we celebrate with delicious foods that are fried.

There is nothing not wonderful about this holiday.

Except perhaps when you forget that you need to get candles…(Seriously, how do I forget every single year?)…and that Isabella’s menorah had a teeny little accident last year and broke into forty thousand pieces and we promised her we’d replace it and then we never did and figured we’d buy one in December and then December came around and we didn’t and, well, let’s just say that there were tears last night. Loads of ‘em.

Guess where I’m going today?

Just guess. 

Well, right after I make a pit stop at the bakery for some more doughnuts…



  1. Stupid question: is there a special place to buy the menorah? I see them at a lot of stores, but are you ‘supposed’ to get them somewhere special? Is there a Jewish supply store? LOL. :)

    (Thanks for sharing your celebration – I love learning about it!)


    Comment by pgoodness on December 21, 2011
  2. HAppy Hanukkah!!
    Let’s get fat together!


    Comment by Gemini-Girl on December 21, 2011
  3. Happy Hanukkah! I would love to eat loads of yummy fried foods… I can celebrate too right? :)


    ali replied on

    Of course!!! You definitely can!


    Comment by Sandy on December 21, 2011
  4. I think Hanukkah is the only Jewish holiday I haven’t spent with you!

    Added to my “list of things I can do when I move to Toronto.”



    Comment by Kristabella on December 21, 2011
  5. Happy Hanukkah Martells! xoxo


    Comment by Meghan on December 21, 2011
  6. Happy Hanukkah!


    Comment by Amy J on December 21, 2011
  7. Now I’m envisioning the Hanukkah armadillo talking about THE MACCABEES! Thanks, Ross Geller…


    Comment by Rebecca (Bearca) on December 21, 2011
  8. Happy Hanukkah to everyone at Casa de Martell! xoxo


    Comment by Nenette on December 21, 2011
  9. [...] Ali writes about the candles, the food and the beauty in their family’s Hanukkah celebrations. [...]

    Pingback by Happy Holidays! — PhD in Parenting on December 27, 2011

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