With Hanukkah coming up and many children being forced back into remote learning, you might be wondering how you can make the holiday special. There are so many things that you probably shouldn’t do this season because of coronavirus, which might make your holiday a lot less fun. However, if you want to keep some of the Hanukkah vibes alive then you might want to try out some of these fun tips.
1. Share Holiday Stories
If you have younger children in the home, then one of the best ways to connect the holiday to meaning is to share stories with your children. You can share the stories you grew up with or those passed from generation to generation. However, one of the easiest ways to share stories is through books. There are many books with vibrant, colorful pictures that will engage children while helping them to learn about the holiday and all of the special actions that surround it. You can find books for all age groups too, but you might have to dig a bit deeper to find options for younger children.
2. Holiday Themed Masks
Masks are currently going to be a theme for just about everything that you do in life. That doesn’t mean that you can’t own them or make them more fun. Instead of just wearing masks as a necessity, transform them into a fun way to share greeting for the holiday. All you really need are plain masks for this, which can be purchased or made from old fabrics. Once you have your mask, you can work with fabric decals or use paint to create your designs. If you work with an assortment of holiday themes, then you will have the perfect masks for the occasion. Having fun with masks will also help children to see that they don’t have to be something to fret.
3. DIY Dreidel
One fun way to help the kids fell like things are slightly normal, is to have them sit down and make a dreidel. You can choose an easy dreidel craft a day, so kids have lots of options, or you can come up with a more complex design that will allow kids to work on a project throughout the holiday. You’ll find a ton of crafts online to give you ideas on your DIY dreidel, or you can go back to basics and teach your age appropriate child how to whittle their own dreidel. Once the dreidels are complete, spend the day playing with your kids. It will add even more joy to the holiday for them and for you.
4. Pass Down Heritage Stories
During the holidays, it is easy to lose sight of the important things in life. This year, especially with the coronavirus taking over, you might want to sit everyone down and talk about family. For generations upon generations, families have dealt with hardships and overcome them. No family lacks a story of courage and inspiration. So, let this holiday be the time to help your children understand just how strong their ancestors were. If you’re not entirely sure about your heritage, then this is also a great time to rediscover it. If you have older children, then you might begin tracing your line together as a fun activity that is perfect for a holiday such as Hanukkah.
5. Car-Top Menorah Parade
At this point, you’ve probably heard about birthday parades, but have you heard about a car-top Menorah parade? Believe it or not, but this is a thing. In fact, it was even a thing before covid turned the world upside down. In some cities, people gather to do a parade every year. However, if you’re not up for organizing a big parade, then keep it small. All you have to do is create a Menorah to put on the top of your car. This can be made from almost anything, but make sure you secure it as tight as possible. You can also add signs and other fun elements to your car before you drive around. You might consider driving the homes of friends and family, but you should aim to drive by the elderly people in your life that may otherwise not be having a great holiday.
6. Embrace Food
There is no harm in letting your favorite foods play a bigger role in this holiday celebration. If you can, whip up all of your favorites and enjoy eating them with your family. If you have loved ones that are struggling, then drop off some of the extra food. You might also take this time to work with he kids to teach them all about the recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. This will allow you to easily share a piece of the family with little ones, which will make them feel like they have a bigger role in the holiday.
7. Gift Covid Supplies
Gifting this season doesn’t have to be all about little things that the kids won’t use. Instead, you can make gifts a bit more fitting for the times by giving them some covid supplies to encourage their safety. For instance, you can include face masks that you know your kids will love into their gifts. You can find popular options right now just about anywhere, which will allow you to customize to suit your child’s personality. Other options for gifting would be soaps that they enjoy, sanitizers that they can leave in their room or take with them on the go, as well as lotions to help combat the dryness from all of the sanitizing.
8. Get the Kids Involved
A lot of the time, kids get put on the back burner when it comes to the holidays. Sure, most of the things we do to make the holiday amazing revolve around them, but they are largely expected to kick back and just enjoy the celebration. Since this holiday season will be a bit less chaotic, with fewer people around, you might use the time to transition your children into larger holiday roles. For instance, you can help teach them recipes that they can be in charge of making for future celebrations. You can also allow them to light the menorah. If you like to use homemade decorations, then let them get started with their own crafts to help make your home even warmer.
9. Contact Family
Don’t let the holidays pass you by without talking to the loved ones that you would normally see during this time. A simple phone call is easy and will help keep everyone connected. However, you might also consider going with a video chat to add a more personal touch to the call. For Thanksgiving, ZOOM removed the meeting time limit to suit holiday chats. Although they haven’t announced if they will be doing this in December, it is something to keep an eye on. Of course, there are other video chat services that will allow you to chat non-stop with one other line, so if you don’t need to talk to a lot of people at once then this is a fantastic option for you and your loved ones.
10. Online Temple
If you are having a hard time with the fact that you can’t go to your synagogue during the holiday, then there are some ways to combat this. Numerous temples are doing services online, which can help you ease your need for tradition. You might check around to see if your synagogue will be doing this, but even if they are not there are countless options online that you can enjoy. This might not ease your need to be social during the holiday, but it can help you feel like you are a part of the bigger picture.
Like other holidays this year, Hannukah doesn’t have to be a time in which you have to give up on the holiday season. This year, you can easily enjoy the holiday by adding a few twists to your typical way of celebrating. This is certain to allow you to enjoy the holiday despite everything going on around us.