Chanukah is not only a fun holiday, but the story behind it is great too! It’s not the most important holiday that we celebrate, but mostly a holiday for kids to experience.

My tradition growing up was to light the menorah each night, recite a few prayers, open gifts (one gifts each night), sing songs, play with the dreidel and eat fried food! However this year there was a lot of going on.

For starters, my birthday fell on the first night of Chanukah.

Then a couple days later my sister-in-law arrived for a 2 week visit from South Africa with her 6.5 months old daughter whom we had never met. So we quickly decided to throw a Welcome Home/Chanukah party at our place.

For the past few years we have gone into the Valley to buy our Sufganiyot (Hebrew for jelly doughnuts) for Chanukah from our favorite kosher bakery, Continental Bakery. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend you visit this bakery. Their baked goods are delicious (Sarah’s new favorite word, thanks Sesame Street)!  You don’t need to keep Kosher to appreciate their delights.

I couldn’t get a picture fast enough of the doughnuts we purchased :) They were fresh and oh so yummy!

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We buy the bite size doughnuts so that you can get the right amount of jelly in every bite!

We celebrated the first night with a birthday/Chanukah dinner with my MIL.

Here is my family lighting the first candle.

photo(2)Sarah’s 1st gift was a pair of Elmo slippers. She was pretty cranky that night, but lit up after she saw the red furry monster.

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The day before my SIL arrived we attended our synagogue’s outdoor Chanukah party which happened to be around the block. Since it was so close we decided to walk there instead of drive. It turned out to be a really cold night, but glad we decided to go and celebrate Chanukah with our community.

Here is Sarah in the kids area coloring on the special tablecloth.

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My SIL keeps different kosher standards then we do. Therefore most of the food has to be store bought and/or catered. With such limitations, I am not able to bake and cook my beloved Pinterest recipes. However after some planning and arrangements I came up with a fun and festive Chanukah table scape.

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The menu included:

Store bought Potato Latkas (I hate the smell of fried food in my home) with apple sauce and sour cream.

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Pinterest‘s Shin Newtons

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Vanilla Cupcakes w/fun Chanukah sprinkles

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Phyllo cups with goat cheese and cranberry, store bought sweets and pizza!

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Here we are lighting the candles.

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Sarah’s great aunt and great uncle brought some gifts for the girls. Here is Sarah opening her gits.

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It was lots of fun celebrating with the family and especially nice celebrating with my hubby’s sister and our baby niece!

Throughout their visit we had many fun outings. One morning we went to story time at our local library. Here are the girls holding hands and dancing. After story time we each did a craft.

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Sarah showing Miri how to shop.

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They also joined us at our Mommy and Me class.

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Brunch at their great aunt and great uncle’s house. Thanks for the onesie’s aunt Rhonda!

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Play date at our house.

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Sarah really enjoyed having her cousin in town! It was really sweet to see them together. I grew up around a lot of cousins so I know how much fun they would have if they lived close by. Miss you already ladies!

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