Saturday, December 13, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree:(

Steve has decided that he wants us to celebrate Hanukkah this year. Something about the way Christmas has been perverted. And it's origins. I'll spare you the details. So anyway, after quite a bit of whining and moaning on my part about all the magical trees twinkling in the pagans' windows, I've decided that resistance is futile and perhaps it is not my place to change his mind about something he is obviously convicted about. So Hanukkah it is.

My initial concern with this idea was the thought of giving each of our four girlies a gift on each of the 8 days of the celebration. Frankly, our budget (I use the term very loosely) doesn't have room for 32 gifts. Last year they got pajamas and toothbrushes. But after a bit of thought and some lucky finds at our local Goodwill, I've come up with a rough draft for our gift giving and family time. These days are in no particular order.

Day 1. Art night. I found several unused coloring/activity/drawing books at the Goodwill. I will also break out some new crayons and markers that I stockpiled during the fabulous back to school sales and we will ALL sit around the table together being farty arty.

Day 2. Fun with Magnets. I found some magnet "wands" and quite a few other magnet-y things at our local teacher store. I may fill a tub with rice or peas and let them "search" for the hidden magnetic objects with their wands, though I foresee lots of arguing during this activity. 

Day 3. Boring necessity night. Socks. ????? Activity.....sock fights. You know......stuff one sock into the other and whap everyone with your weapon as hard as you can. I guarantee this activity will end in tears.

Day 4. Book Reading night. I almost peed my pants after finding several like new small American Girl books at the Goodwill for $.49!!! We have been checking these out at the library and I LOVE how there is a little history lesson related to the story at the back of each book. I picked up several other age appropriate books for the girls, so we will spend the evening cuddled up on the futon mattress in front of a crackling fire.

Day 5. Movie night. A family gift of Kung Fu Panda and popcorn. 

Day 6. The "real" gift. Puppets for all. I splurged at my new favorite store, Explorations, and got each of the girls their own Melissa and Doug puppet. Good stuff. So I'm guessing they'll spend this night crowded behind the couch putting on puppet shows for us.

Day 7. Play dough night. Homemade play dough. Pick your own color. Note to self: pick up lots of cream of tartar.

Day 8. Game night. Still trying to decide what family game to buy. Any suggestions for players aged 2-33?

I realize the holidays aren't all about gift-giving, so rest assured that we will be reading and discussing the true meaning of Hanukkah. And Christmas.

I am slowly becoming more and more excited about our first Hanukkah and am optimistic that we will find some new traditions that will become a meaningful part of our family history. I'd also love to hear any of your favorite holiday traditions.......?????


Rachel said...

Game Night = Jumping Monkeys

We just got this game from Gramma (she thinks it was like $8 at Walgreens) You'd need two as they only have enuf for 4 players, no special skills needed except a functioning index finger. You catapult your monkeys onto the tree and try to get them to hang.

Kim said...

Which American Girls books did you find/do you have? Since I have boys, and may be done, I'm more than willing to ship books of my own up to you.

Billi said...

Game Night Suggestions
Zingo a picture matching Bingo game (
Fundex Games ( in a tin (we purchased ours from Target). We have Cookin' Cookies and Peanut Butter & Jelly. Both have 'pieces' to entertain all ages and enough strategy/luck to frustrate Josh. Good Fun.
I also highly recommend, although not for all ages: Clue Jr., Scrabble Jr. and any of the Monopoly for kids (we own Lemonade Stands).

Have fun.

Kristi said...

Uno Attack is a good one. We used ours for years. Sounds like a fun and interesting change this year. I'm too chicken to break out of our traditions.

Justin said...

The web site ("chinuch" is Hebrew for "education") has a bunch of free resources for teaching kids that were submitted by various teachers around the world. You have to register (free) before downloading anything, but there are a bunch of crafts, lessons, activities, clip art, etc, categorized by topic and age.

You could turn the sock fight into a battle against the wicked king Antiochus!

Sabrina said...

What great ideas!
I have my menorah waiting to go for next week... :)

Billi said...

Could have titled this one No Christmas Tree, No Christmas Tree:(

How sad we are and miss you...


Tammy said...

Well, my husband agrees with your husband... It was hard for us at first, giving up so many Christmas traditions a few years ago. We're all brainwashed to think the trees have anything to do with the birth of Christ, or even that the birth of Christ was in the winter, LOL! It will get easier, especially since you are replacing it with something.

Have fun! :o)

Karin said...

Kept reading after the giveaway post and came to this one. So interesting! I've been thinking about learning more about some of the OT festivals, about how they foreshadow NT stuff, and maybe even implementing some of them in our family. But I hadn't thought of Hanukkah instead of Christmas... Food for thought.

So how did it turn out for your and your family?