Archive for December, 2011

Creating Traditions

My good friend, Wendy, and her family have a tradition of doing something different to mark every night of Chanukah. From family craft projects to volunteering to having  a party to baking banana bread and distributing it to the homeless to learning something new as a family (like rock climbing), I love the idea of making every night (or day) special AND creating traditions that aren’t about presents or about trying to make Chanukah into Christmas.

Every year, I ask Wendy for the list of what they do, but this and that happens and I haven’t acted on it until this year.  I know that we’ll develop what we do as time goes by  and LP grows.  I love the sense of anticipation that happens around traditions…I’m already looking forward to next year’s lantern walk.

In thinking about what traditions I want to create for our family, I’ve focused on the theme of light…both literal (candles), cosmic (star watching) and metaphoric through our actions (giving to others).

This year we are:

*having a family Chanukah party on the first night with latkes, playing music and a few presents

*craft & cooking projects on the second night (soft dreidl decorated with fabric markers and a dreidl cake of LP’s own recipe)

*lantern walk around the neighborhood on the third night (we made the lanterns by gluing tissue paper on glass jars and putting tea lights in them, specific instructions here at SteadyMom)

*Shabbat, dreidl playing, singing  and a few presents on the fourth night

*star watching picnic on the fifth night

*Making gifts for others on the sixth night (not sure what we’ll be making yet)

*put on a show together on the seventh night (and hopefully visiting a nursing home during the day)

*more music making and a few more presents on the eighth night

It is important to me that LP be able to enjoy Chanukah, have traditions to share with friends and also be able to share her friends’ Christmas traditions without envy. My parents gave me that gift growing up. I always loved Chanukah and how we celebrated AND it was comfortable and fun sharing in my friends’ Christmas traditions. We are living that sharing tradition this year as we had our annual Chanukah open house (pre-Chanukah this year because of the timing) and will attend a Christmas party on Christmas day.

Happy Holidays everyone!  May you spend these days sharing light with those you love!

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The past month has been one of improvised baking and concocting.  I’ll be writing a couple of posts about engaging and supporting a little person’s interest, so consider this one a teaser.

Below is the recipe for a “Show” ~ the first concoction that LP created about a month ago.  She made it while I was making dinner (homemade pizza) so most of the ingredients are what I was using (except for the goldfish!).

LP’s recipe (as dictated by the girl):

Start with a lot of goldfish.

Add just two whole mushrooms and a lot oil and a lot of wheat germ becasue the oil and the wheat germ taste good and they’ll make it taste good.

Add lots of garlic, cutted garlic.

The cheese makes the Show taste a little like popcorn.

Add pizza dough and pineapple.

Flour’s the last ingredient. It makes the show taste powdery.

Some shows get spinach in them.

Bake for very long. The long should be 20 minutes.

We eat the show when it comes out of the oven. It’s a cheer you up show!

(The recipe was dictated to me over dinner. As you can see, there are a few ingredients – pasta, celery, olives) that didn’t make it into the formal recipe.  And yes….she did eat some of it!)

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