My mum threw the best Hanukkah parties. Now, I’m trying to be the matriarch she was

This Primary Person column is written by means of Wendy Litner who lives in Toronto. For more information approximately CBC’s First Individual tales, please see the FAQ

i need to throw a Hanukkah birthday celebration for my husband and six-yr-antique twin boys however I’m having trouble with a few of the details. As a graduate of the Hebrew day college machine, i will be able to inform you the tale of Hanukkah, however i don’t understand where to buy Hanukkah candles. Amazon? I’m trying to buy local, excluding I reside in Toronto’s Greektown, which has the sweetest loukoumades but is narrow on Judaica celebration provides. 

there is some irony to this: It was once the Seleucid Greeks who the Maccabees defeated, bringing about the birthday party of Hanukkah and subsequent rededication of the second one Temple in Jerusalem. Or Maybe it is because of the anti-assimilationist message on the very heart of Hanukkah?

Either means, right here i am with two impressionable little boys, my late mom’s Hanukkiah (the nine-branched menorah we light for the vacations), and no candles to place in it. 


First public Hanukkah menorah installed in CharlottetownThe story of Hanukkah & how it’s celebrated

And do you could have a recipe for latkes? Many recipes come up while I Google it, but i don’t understand which one is my mother’s. I Am no health nut, but they all appear to use a lot of oil.

I take into account that the sizzle of my mom’s frying pan, however i haven’t been in a position to reflect them. Used To Be there a undeniable flick of the wrist in the frying?  My mother’s latkes had been glorious: soft within the middle with just the right amount of crispiness across the edges. She would serve them at our Hanukkah birthday celebration on Hanukkah plates, with matching Hanukkah cups, and Hanukkah napkins. 

My mom died while i was 23 or even 18 years later, i’m discovering it tough to take her place all the way through the holidays.

My mum threw the best Hanukkah parties. Now, I'm trying to be the matriarch she was

Wendy Litner along with her mom in Thornhill, Ont., sometime in the eighties. (Wendy Litner)

 head to the Buck Retailer to buy blue or gold plates however by hook or by crook I additionally in finding myself shopping for a inexperienced felt tree on which the lads excitedly Velcro reindeer ornaments and candy canes. We had an exquisite time.  

“I’m Going To make dreidels too,” I tell my perplexed husband who wonders how celebrating Hanukkah changed into Christmas. 

I reduce out colourful felt dreidels, however as I curve the pipe cleaners into the Hebrew letters, i locate myself crying. Dreidels, it seems, hold a few grief for me. they’re heavy with all I’ve lost: reminiscences of my mom, of my parents’ marriage that ended in divorce. i do not know the way to be a matriarch. i don’t recognise where to shop for candles or which latkes to make or how you get the jelly inside of a doughnut. there’s a pain, a deep pain that no quantity of chocolate gelt can fix. I Have attempted.

i want to provide my sons the heat of the Hanukkah season I enjoyed while growing up however i find it tricky with my very own tradition. Christmas simply feels such a lot lighter. Easier. Whimsical. it is all right there on the shelves at the store. It feels such a lot more straightforward to include the magic of one thing new. One Thing my mother never did. My mom by no means hung lighting or made elves. there is no shadow of her in these things. 

there is simply me, seeking to provide my sons a happy holiday; looking to lead them to voters of the sector. It is just us here — making a song songs approximately dreidels out of clay and sleigh bells in the snow. Their eyes illuminate whilst I inform them the oil lasted for 8 nights and their respiring hurries up while I read them Twas’ The Night Ahead Of Christmas. It’s A gorgeous poem and i need their international to be filled with poetry.   

Old gives solution to new. that is actual for traditions, relationships and latkes. 

The case for remixing your latkes this Hanukkah


Why jelly doughnuts tackle a distinct which means throughout Hanukkah

After my mom died, my father took up the latke-making mantle — excluding he makes his with candy potato. 

“This 12 months I’m making them combined,” he tells me proudly. “Sweet potato mixed with russet.” i will be able to’t recall to mind a extra easiest metaphor for our vacation festivities.

“i like celebrating the whole lot,” my son says between bites of latkes and candy canes. 

I do too. i really like that we’re making our own holidays, our own manner. i like my Dad’s latkes. 

My mum threw the best Hanukkah parties. Now, I'm trying to be the matriarch she was

Wendy Litner’s new menorah can pay homage to Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the primary Jewish girl to serve as a U.S. Best Courtroom justice. (Wendy Litner)

I take one remaining have a look at my mom’s Hanukkiah and pack it again up. i’ve a new one. It Is of former U.S. Perfect Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, with the phrases “I DISSENT.”

Perhaps my boys will use it while they’re older. Maybe they’ll find one that’s excellent for them. However regardless of how they decide to have a good time the season, i’m hoping they are going to always really feel the sunshine of my love.   

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