Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish families on Kidizen! Our featured Family Story is an interview with one of our community members, Eileen Lamb(shop name The Autism Cafe), a Kidizen seller and mama of 2 boys and 1 girl (2 months old).
Tell us about Hanukkah and how your family celebrates the holiday.
I didn’t celebrate Hanukkah growing up but have been celebrating it for the past 11 years since my husband is Jewish. I’ve been learning along the way, and it’s now become one of my favorite holidays and traditions. Hanukkah lasts 8 days and commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. We celebrate by lighting the menorah each night.
What are some Hanukkah traditions you share with your kids?
For Hanukkah, we light up the menorah every night, and exchange presents. Jude also loves playing Dreidel. It’s a fun little game that we play with chocolate coins. We also eat special holiday foods, a favorite is latkes. They’re basically potato pancakes and super yummy!
How long does Hanukkah last and what is the most important part to you?
Hanukkah lasts 8 nights and the most important part to me is spending time as a family. I love seeing the joy on my children’s faces.
How is Hanukkah gift-giving done?
I don’t know how it’s done in general but in our family, we light up the menorah and while the candle is burning, we exchange gifts. One gift per night. Most years, we only give presents to the kiddos. It’s always special to watch them open presents each night. We also celebrate Christmas and what I love about Hanukkah gift-giving is that the boys are able to enjoy presents more because they only get one a night. It’s less overwhelming.
You have two sons who are on the spectrum. How do they feel about Hanukkah and is it different for them?
Jude is 7 and high-functioning, Charlie is 9, severely autistic, and still nonverbal. Jude loves Hanukkah, he likes lighting up the menorah, playing games, and of course, opening presents. Charlie can’t communicate how he feels about it but he seems to enjoy eating latkes and opening presents.
Thank you to Eileen for sharing a bit about herself and her family with us. You can find Eileen on Kidizen at The Autism Cafe.