Sunday, December 13, 2009

Festival of Lights

Chanukah is here, the princesses are on vacation, but I, alas have to work. It's going to be a low-key week. We were going to do a tiyul (trip), but everyone has something else planned on different days. I'm kind of glad, because I'm still trying to beat this chest cold and feel totally wiped out after a few hours at work focusing on not coughing so that people don't think I'm Typhoid Mary. It's exhausting not coughing when you need to.

Last night, I coughed my way over to Tired's house for a Chanukah party. I had a great time and she served yummy cheese puffs. I also met Aliyah-by-Accident's Gila there. It's always wild-and-crazy when bloggers get together.

I'm curious as to what you guys all do about presents on Chanukah? Do you give them or do your kids not even ask for them? My kids were raised in the Five Towns, Long Island, and just love getting presents. I feel an awful lot of pressure. When they were little I'd get them cute little things like pencils with dreidels on them and note pads and they were thrilled with that stuff. I want them to know that the holiday is not about the presents, on the other hand, it does give me joy to make them happy.

Sufganiyot. In other words, Israeli donuts. Have I ever mentioned that I hate them? I mean the ribat chalav (caramel) ones look amazing, but the only part I like is the caramel. The actual dough part of the donut is usually bland, often greasy and just plain unappetizing. And yet billions of them are being sold (and eaten) as we speak. When I went to buy some for the first night of Chanukah, I was going to go Roladin, a bakery /cafe at the mall whose sufganiyot looked the most appealing. Then we bumped into friends who told us the donuts there were 8 shekel a piece, when next door, at Cafe Hillel they were 4 shekel a piece. So off we went to Cafe Hillel. Sure enough, they were sold out. So much for saving money. We went to a third place, the famous Maape Neeman, where that spoonful of ribat chalav looked cost 6 shekel. The doughy part covered in powdered sugar was free.

In other Chanukah news, my beloved digital camera has broken. I sent it away for repair and they'll call me to tell me if it's worth fixing. I used Liat's camera for these pictures, and well, I know they're not exactly photographic genius.

Oops, well, no pictures. Liat's memory card doesn't fit in my computer and I'll be durned if I'm going to search for that wire thingie to attach to the lap top. So I guess we'll have to wait a few days until I hopefully get my camera back. And now that you can't see the photos, I should tell you that they actually were, ahem, genius.

How is your Chanuka going?


Anonymous said...

Chag sameach Baila!

Robin said...

We do presents. I know it's not done here but I grew up in the States and even after all these years it just wouldn't feel like Hannukah without them.

That said, we've managed to scale WAYYYYY back over the years so that it isn't a Christmas-style giftapalooza. The kids get one "normal" gift (perhaps a board game, or pair of rollerskates, or things like that) the first night, the second usually one thing from my parents, and after that it's inexpensive little chotchkes. And books. One night is always books. That was our tradition when I was growing up and is one of the ways I hope to pass on a love of reading to my children.

My son was holding out for a (NIS 2000) WII. Sorry, not happening kid.

Robin said...

PS And of course Chag Hannukah Sameach to you and your family. (Gotta control my trigger finger a bit better, I hit enter too quickly.)

Mrs. S. said...

We usually do one big present for everyone to share, and then they also get individual presents from their grandparents.

Happy Chanukah!

Anonymous said...

Baila, I don't know how often you check your email, but I just want to tell you that I sent you a note.

aliyah06 said...'s going too quickly....and trying to work FT around Chanukkah get-togethers is a challenge.

I, too, am not a big fan of sufganiyot---they give me a stomach ache. I think its the greasy dough.

OTOH, my kid loves them and puts them away like they're candy. No belly ache, no weight gain....wish I could do that.

I did have the World's Best Latkes at a friend's house--and she's from Turkey!! She made them for us, and made Turkish sufganiyot (light, quick-fried rolled dough with a sugar syrup--waaaayyyy better than commercial sufganiyot) and baklava....

We did presents in the States--but the kids are all (almost) grown now so its not such a big issue. In CA, we had one BIG present and 6 little presents and a tzeddaka night where YOU give something to the needy. For their presents, the kids turned out the lights and had to hunt for the hidden presents by candlelight--it was fun.

Chanukkah sameach!