Friday, December 12, 2014

IT'S ALL ABOUT TRADITION - A GINGERBREAD HOUSE

I am so excited. Today, at the store I found a Gingerbread House Kit for Hanukkah!  It is rare to find any items for Hanukkah celebration let alone something so adorable.  I know religiously speaking, Hanukkah is not one of the major holidays, but way back before I chose to live life a Jewish life, I celebrated Xmas.  Yes, I did.  I do not miss anything at all from my religious upbringing because my beliefs lean very much towards Judaic and Buddhists beliefs (as weird as that combination might sound.)  Recently, I read a quote that describes me perfectly.  It said, "Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."  And I have certainly had my share of life-changing experiences, so therefore, I am much more spiritual than religious.

The only thing I truly miss is the holiday preparations for Xmas: the tree, the decorations, the gifts, the shopping.  So consequently, I have tried to implement the best of both worlds for my children.  I must interject that my kids know all about what Hanukkah truly means as well as what Xmas is about, but at the end of the day, I make it all about tradition.

I make the holidays at our home about tradition and family,  and less about religion.  I love to decorate the house with beautiful blue bows and happy-looking (blue & white) snowmen.  My menorahs are colorful and the driedels are everywhere for the kids to play. The outside of our home is beautifully decorated with (blue and white) lights, so there is no doubt as to what holiday we celebrate.

And out of the 8 nights of Hanukkah, I choose one night, to have the entire family together and exchange our gifts and have a wonderful dinner as a family.  This year, we are blessed not only to have our 5 children and their significant others coming home, but we now have a beautiful grandson, to add to the "Blatpack" mix!

So, now with this new find of a Hanukkah Gingerbread house, I am thrilled to make this with my kids and make it a new annual tradition to build our beautiful Gingerbread home that actually has the Star of David on it and a menorah as the front window.  It is a wonderful opportunity to join in the festivities of the holidays while implementing our Judaic traditions. It's the little things that make me happy.

No matter what holiday you celebrate, remember to make it about family and establish your own traditions.  Your kids will remember and treasure those memories for a lifetime.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you believe in, we all just "visitors" here, so just make it worthwhile and enjoy the ride!

Now, go make your gingerbread house and start your tradition!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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