Happy Hanukkah. As you light the first candle this evening, remember that “it’s only just begun”!
We know you’ll be busy the first two nights of Hanukkah, what with the turkey preparation and all. On Friday, the third night of Hanukkah, you’ll probably be eating leftover turkey sandwiches and cranberry sauce and wishing that you had squirreled away that last slice of apple-caramel pie for yourself. By Saturday, Thanksgiving will be a distant memory, and you’ll still have five days left of Hanukkah. Here are some ways to light up your holiday.
1) If you are sitting on the couch watching football on Sunday, the fifth day of Hanukkah – you could serve up the chosen beer – He’Brew from Shmaltz Brewing Company of Saratoga, NY. For this year’s holiday ale, Jewbelation Reborn, they blended 17 different malts, combining complex chocolate for a bittersweet flavor and rye for a spicy note. Here’s a list of where you can buy the brew.
2) If your kids want more latkes, and you’re sick of standing over a pan of hot cooking oil, head to the Kibitz Room in Cherry Hill, where owner Neil Parish says they keep the pans hot so they can make latkes all eight days. In past years, he has sold up to 4,000 latkes (at $1.50 apiece) during the holiday.
3) When our children were little, we used to give them books for at least some of the nights of Hanukkah. They are doing enough reading for school these days, so books aren’t on our list. We do miss the days of browsing the local Borders for the newest children’s books. We can’t even make a trip for old time’s sake, since all of our local bookstores have closed.
We went online and saw that Curious George has a menorah, Elmo has a dreidel, the Hanukkah mice put out the Shalom doormat, and Sammy Spider is still counting the days of Hanukkah. We got an email earlier this week from author and artist Michelle Holtzman telling us about her new book, Mordecai Ben Isaac Ha-Levi & Other Tales. It looks interesting and is geared toward older children.
4) For a family game night for older kids, you could play a couple rounds of the old-school dreidel game and then switch to No Limit Texas Dreidel from Modern Tribe, where you can bet the house on a shin. You could also play the Dreidel Roulette Game from think-yiddish, which sells for $18, of course, on Amazon.
5) On the final night of Hanukkah – Wednesday, Dec. 4 – you could go to the giant menorah lighting at Rittenhouse Square, where there will be donuts, dreidels and a magic show; or if you’re a hipster, you could catch Matisyahu, the Grammy Award-nominated rapper, perform his Festival of Light at the Blockley (3801 Chestnut St.). Uwishunu has a complete list of happenings during Hanukkah week.
The Word Mavens wish you a great holiday.