Every year during the holidays I think back to my childhood and remember how much fun Chanukah was. Although, I have to say I was a little jealous of all my friends that celebrated Christmas. The idea of trimming the tree and decorating the house seemed like a lot of fun and something I felt I was missing out on.
Now I have my own kids – a boy and girl (now 7 and 2) – all I want for them is to have the same fond memories of their childhood, that I do of mine. As a parent, I struggle with the traditions of my childhood and creating new traditions for our family. My husband is always saying we need to create our own family traditions but it is hard to agree on what those should be, even 9 years later. For 8 nights we light the candles each night adding one more until the eighth night, opening of a present has always followed. This year has brought a dilemma.
Previously, we have always given the kids a small present every day and a larger gift on the last day of Chanukah. As my son gets older it becomes harder to find smaller gifts he will like that aren’t just another piece of junk. Now that he has a little sister I want to do the same for her, but that would mean she would get a present every night and he would only get one big present. Is that fair? I now have a pile of great gifts for her and only one expensive gift for my son.
So now I struggle with what to do. Do I bite the bullet and get him a few smaller items or have a talk with him about the situation. Do I not give her everything I bought? Give one of the gifts to her from her older brother?
Then we deal with the second issue, “how will Santa know not to come to our house?” They have lots of questions and we answer them honestly, or at least as honest as we can without giving away the fantasy. As a child I always wanted Santa to come to my house. I wanted to decorate a tree and put up a stocking. One year my siblings and I even put big paper bags on the fireplace hoping that just maybe Santa would get confused and stop by. My dad who at the time was totally against it felt so bad he went to the corner store and bought us a bunch of candy for our bags. I think the idea of Santa is great, it’s like believing in a fairy tale and if my kids want to believe then why not let them. We all need to believe in something. Who knows, maybe Santa will come to our house this year.
Happy holidays to all no matter what and how you decide to celebrate!