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It’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like winter! We are at my folks for Thanksgiving and we woke up to nice layer of frost this morning. Brrrrr! And of course Frozen 2 is in the air. My daughter has been asking on a daily basis when we are going to see the new movie! It’s pretty funny actually since the first one came out when my son was 4. He’s now 10 and in 5th grade while my daughter is 4 and totally obsessed with all things Frozen. (Sidenote even the 10 year old wants to go see the movie so at least it’s something we can all agree on). In addition to the movie request, I am getting a daily request to decorate for Hanukkah. I mean given the darkness that is settling in, who can blame them for wanting more light?
And, it wouldn’t be Hanukkah without my yearly countdown calendar! I’ve had several conversations this year already about how Hanukkah fits in the sea of Christmas and not turning it into a “Christmas equivalent” given that it is a minor holiday in the Jewish calendar. My feeling is that it is so dreary this time of year, if it weren’t for Hanukkah I’d be finding some other reason to decorate now that Halloween is put away. I even had glittery “be thankful” banner this year. Also, kids love to anticipate whatever occasion is coming up whether it be a birthday or the last day of school. So, despite past comparisons to an advent calendar, the purpose of the Hanukkah countdown calendar is to help my kids (and hopefully yours too) get excited for our holiday in the sea of Christmas all around.
As in the past, I used Microsoft Publisher to design the layout for both the calendar and the stickers, revisiting my Frozen theme from 2014 given the current vibe in our house. Generally I print the calendar on my favorite Neenah Solar White cardstock and the stickers on full sheet label paper. But as I’ve mentioned in the past you could also print the “stickers” on paper and use tape or glue or use whatever stickers you already have.
I’ve designated Sunday, December 1st as “Decorate” day so hope you will join me in getting in the Hanukkah spirit whether it simply hanging this calendar or more! I will be hanging Hanukkah signs and swapping out our felty fall wreath for last year’s crafting success, the dreidel wreath. I’ll also be putting out our big bin of Hanukkah books that I save for the month of Hanukkah to make them feel a bit more special. (I do the same with many of our other holiday books too, especially since between buying some and PJ Library, we have quite the collection). Here is a list of some of our family’s favorite Hanukkah books. Beyond that you can sit down and plan out your Hanukkah fun. There are a couple of stickers marked “Party!” this year to help with your holiday plans. Here are some activities I’m thinking about for our family:
- Hanukkah craft time – you could try this or maybe this (I have a couple of these I stashed away last year)
- Bake Hanukkah cookies
- Read Hanukkah books
Whatever you decide to fill your countdown to Hanukkah with, I hope it is full of love and light (and as much Frozen as you can tolerate)!