For 8 nights we lit the menorah. And by we, I mean Z, who knows the primary blessing by heart. She'd take the lead in lighting the candles, leaving the last candle or two for her little sister, who was happy to finish the job.
But last night she was a little sketched out by our final candle, a lowly birthday candle pushed into service because we took hastily disposed of a broken 44th candle.
On Friday we attended the Family Chanukah celebration at Oak Park Temple, which includes singing, doughnuts and a long table filled with every family's menorah, and on Monday we fulfilled our obligation to eat latkes, gobbling down two boxes worth from Trader Joe's.
Thanks to the generosity of their aunts and grandparents, the girls each received one or two gifts a night, and the best-loved presents were something of a surprise. Three year old A went nuts for new clothes, oohing and ahhing and promptly trying on everything she received, from a 6 pack of Princess underpants to some adorable outfits from Gymboree. Thank you mom and mother-in-law for outfitting my budding fashionista.
It was a good thing Chanukah came early this year, because both girls were also gifted a selection of mittens and gloves (along with those oh-so-elusive mitten clips). And Z received long underwear, which she would wear under her pants every single day if I let her.
If underwear, mittens and clothes weren't exciting enough, A's very favorite present is another practical one: a hooded towel for swim class.
In the book and toy department, both girls thrilled over Disney figurines (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and a comprehensive Princess set that A immediately pressed into "rehearsals"). Z proclaimed her My First Sewing Kit, a box of Magic Tree House books and the American Girl Doll School set her "best presents ever," turning her nose up at the potholder loom I'd purchased for her as a "dumb gift that just makes me work hard to make other people presents." (She changed her tune a day later when we started her first potholder.)
Now that Chanukah is over, I can focus on the rest of the holiday season--which means figuring out what I'm going to wear to holiday parties, addressing cards, organizing a New Year's Day brunch and going to a waterpark! Yes since there's no good Chinese food in our area and A can't be trusted to sit through a movie, we're starting a new Jewish on Christmas tradition. We're going to a resort with a waterpark.