Tag Archives: Christmas

Books for the Holidays: Hanukkah

The first night of Hanukkah begins Sunday evening. Jewish families all over the world will begin the holiday after nightfall. Traditionally, Jewish families will light the first candle of their Menorah on Sunday after nightfall, as they light the candle they will say three blessings, every night from then on they will recite two blessings. The Menorah has 9 candles, 8 for the 8 nights of Hanukkah and one to be used to light the others.

Hanukkah is a very beautiful and meaningful holiday in Judaism. It commemorates the the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the Maccabean Revolt. If you and our children would like to learn more about Hanukkah you may want to check out this child-friendly history.

This month we want to highlight a book that talks about Hanukkah and what it is like to celebrate it during a time when other religions are also celebrating their holiday. Hanukkah happens in November or December depending on the Gregorian Calendar. This means it can occur before, or during the Christian holidays.The book, Chanukah Lights Everywhere follows a brother and sister through their celebration of Hanukkah, and shows how they notice all of the other celebrations going on around them. The book shows how the many different celebrations are all happening and at once and how they each bring joy and love to their respective followers. It shines a light on the importance of respecting cultures, religions, and allowing for each of them to coexist in peace. This is an excellent book for teaching about not just Hanukkah but also about cultural acceptance and respect. It is an excellent book for the holidays, no matter which holiday you are celebrating this season.

 

Elf on The Shelf Returns!

Does your family participate in Elf on the Shelf? We are on our fourth year and we absolutely love it. The holiday’s have always been about magic and making the day meaningful in my family, so adding the elf has given us a chance to bring joy and magic back in to our daily lives. It also gives us the chance to see our kids react with genuine awe and excitement. So much of our world is filled with chaos, stress, and fear. It makes me sublimely happy that I can bring them innocence and joy even if it is only for a few weeks with the help fo a small stuffed elf.

We try to incorporate lots of different stories and bring in Jesus and the importance of giving during our month with the elves (yes I am that crazy mom that has two!) but we also try to have as much fun as possible with them. For us it isn’t about reporting back to Santa. It is about bringing joy and interacting with our kids all month long.

You can find dozens upon dozens of ideas all over the web, especially on pinterest. We are preparing for our two elves to arrive and I love to leave a letter from them for the kids. This year I found two different letters I love, and cannot decide which to use. I may print both and pick one in the heat of the moment when I place them the night before. What are your plans for your elves? Be sure to check out these two free printables for your letters, one from Yummy Mummy Kitchen and one from I Think We Could Be Friends, and while you are there see their ideas for elves and try a few!

Christmas Storage Organization Ideas

I have not cleaned up Christmas, and I won’t for a few more weeks. But I love looking at great Christmas storage ideas for the cleanup when I do. Since I usually get a little bit more decor at the end of Christmas (sales hello!) and I have extra money from gifts, I like to purchase things for next year. One thing I love to do is purchase storage containers. They not only make excellent storage for decor, they also make excellent storage for all the extra toys and clothes my kids have received during the holidays.

Some great places to get storage containers inexpensively after Christmas is Home Depot, Target, Wal Mart, Lowes, Big Lots, and Dollar Tree. I love to purchase bins, wall organizers, closet organizers, and cases that I can put things in all year long. Check out some incredible storage ideas here.

You can also repurpose items to be used in different ways that can enable you to have more storage. Check out some incredibly cool ideas here from Spunky Junky.

It always feels great to start the new year off right with everything organized and clean. I feel great knowing I know where everything is and can get to it easily.