The First Night

So last night was the first night of Hanukkah. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that, while I was brought up Jewish, I am non-practicing. Other Jews have a phrase for this: I’m a bad Jew.

(This reminds me of the man who told a friend that he was getting a divorce from his wife.  The friend said, “But you’re Catholic, how can you do that?” The man said, “Ah, you haven’t heard of the loophole?” to which the friend replied, “I know of no loophole.”  The man smiled and said, “I’m a bad Catholic.”)

In any event, I might not be practicing, but it seemed appropriate to expose the Little Man to the experience, just as we expose him to the Christmas experience. We didn’t light the candles, mainly because I don’t practice and besides, the Little Man would not yet understand what that was all about, but he did open a Hanukkah present sent by his grandparents. I took video and will ultimately put together a video montage of each of the eight nights, starring the Little Man opening his gifts.  One lesson I took away from last night: let him eat dinner before opening the gifts. While he generally enjoys tearing up paper, he was acutely less interested last night because he was hungry and wanted to eat. So we’ll try again tonight, but only after he has a belly full of food.

If you celebrate the holiday, Happy Hanukkah.  Or is it Chappy Chanukah?


  1. Funny…Damian is learning all about Hannukah at school (it is a Jewish Community Center), and this morning he asked, “Do we celebrate both?” I said “Both what?” He said, “Christmas and Hannukah?” I said, “No, just Christmas – we’re not Jewish.” He said, “But I want to.” I said, “Why?” He said, “Because I want Hannukah presents!” I laughed and said, “When you get older, if you want to be Jewish you can.” He grudgingly replied, “Oookaaayyy.”

  2. That is awesome. The Little Man is still a little too young to even understand the idea of presents, let alone anything else about the various holiday celebrations. We’re getting a Christmas tree this weekend. He knows about trees so that should be fun.

  3. Our boy was also apparently the only child in the whole daycare who could name the center candle and what it was for. The seniors who were there for the Menorah lighting were thrilled with him. We’re happy that he’s paying attention, but I’m surprised that the Jewish kids didn’t get it first!


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