One of the core concepts of Hanukkah is light – the miracle of the lights lasting for eight days, the light in the gloom of winter, the menorah in your window to share the miracle with the world.
So do you have a menorah and candles that bring you joy? If not, you can remedy that right now! (Admission: we don’t have a menorah that uses oil. Yet. But I’m looking.)
Choosing the right menorah*
When our girls were young, I searched and searched for a menorah that reminded me of the one I’d grown up with – a traditional brass menorah with Lions of Judah flanking the sides. Then we got another hanukkiyah featuring klezmer musicians joyfully playing the violin, cello, clarinet, drum, and so on. To our candle-lighting, we added an antique-looking menorah given to us by a dear Israeli cousin, z’l.
While I still love all of those, the klezmer one isn’t terribly sturdy and the antiquey-one is tricky to light without burning your fingers.
SO, when we had grandsons, we needed some other choices. When I saw a gecko menorah* from FairTradeJudaica.com – well, doesn’t everyone need one of those? This menorah is for their home.
When they are with us, and we have a big family group here, I wanted to add to the collection with a few very sturdy, easy-to-light choices. So last year, I purchased two colorful and sturdy painted metal Yair Emanuel menorahs, like this one featuring birds and pomegranates.
Now, when we are blessed with lots of family during Hanukkah, everyone can light candles. I also make sure we have plenty of candles on hand.
Hanukkah candles – so many choices!
And speaking of candles . . . When I was a child, part of my Hanukkah fun was in selecting which candles – green, blue, red, pink, orange, yellow, white, purple – to load into the menorah each night. We passed that tradition along to our children. Now, though, some boxes of candles offer very few colors.
Look a bit harder, though, and you’ll find a treasure trove of options.
Search for candles on the moderntribe.com site, for example, and you can find multicolored beeswax candles, hand-dipped beeswax candles, organic candles, glorious Safed candles, and more. We still have a few blue and white hand-dipped candles that our daughter brought us back from her trip to Safed long ago.
*More cool menorahs
This year, FairTradeJudaica.com is also offering an elephant menorah, a crocodile menorah, a wire and bead bicycle menorah, and several other intriguing choices.
Hanukkah Shopping – Hanukkah Bingo Game
A family favorite since we first introduced it, Hanukkah Bingo is fun for parents, grandparents, and children 2 and up! It’s the feel-good game that brings everyone together. Gloss-coated for durability, it makes a perfect Hanukkah gift.
You also learn what all the symbols mean. And, because it doesn’t require reading, pre-readers can beat Dad. Now when does that happen? It is also a fast game, so you can play lots of rounds – and have many winners.
It earned the “TTT” (Top Tips and Trusted) designation from www.toytips.com with an A rating in all categories!