The holidays are officially upon us! Chanukah begins this weekend, so we thought we’d all get in the spirit by checking in with the authors of this month’s anthology, Burning Bright. To start the celebration the authors in the collection, Megan Hart, Jennifer Gracen, KK Hendin and Stacey Agdern, are sharing their favorite holiday tradition with us. Take it away, ladies!
My favorite Chanukah tradition is definitely lighting the menorah. Our family has a collection and though we don’t add a new one every year, if I see a special one, we add it to the number lining our shelves. We’ve not only purchased some, we’ve crafted a number of them — like the year Chanukah and Thanksgiving happened at the same time, we made a Thanksgivvakah menorah! We light our favorites and set them in the window to share the holiday with anyone looking inside. — Megan Hart
I’ve had much more memorable Chanukahs since becoming a mom. Here are some old pictures of my sons as toddlers, and I think you’ll see why. Older Son being shown how to light the menorah and Younger Son at his very first family Chanukah party. They really delighted in the holiday fun, and I delighted in their pure joy. — Jennifer Gracen
My favorite holiday tradition? Getting together with my family and friends and having latkes. If you look up recipes for latkes, you’ll discover that there are about as many ways of making them as there are people who eat them — and possibly a few more than that. You can see from the picture, taken in my brother’s kitchen, that my family’s latke recipe of choice ends up being crunchy, of a consistency I’ve seen in certain varieties of hash browns. This is probably why I’m all about dipping the resulting salty crunchy goodness in applesauce. But of course, no matter the recipe, they’re best when eaten with family or good friends. — Stacey Agdern
There were the preschool Chanukah parties. And when you’re the second of eight kids, you get to hear the same basic Chanukah show around twenty four times (nursery, prekindergarten, kindergarten, per kid). By the time kid number eight practiced for her Chanukah party at home, she was never able to sing a solo- someone else would always end up singing along.
We were talking about Chanukah at the Shabbos table this past week, about what we’re going to be doing and where the extended family Chanukah party is going to be, and someone started singing one of the preschool Chanukah songs. I’m not saying the table quickly devolved into a preschool Chanukah sing-along, except…it did. Really quickly. Because we still want to be Maccabees, and we’re still only three years old. — K.K. Hendin