This post contains affiliate links.
Hanukkah (or how ever way you spell it) starts tonight. Usually I’d stress about getting ready, but not this year. I just don’t have the time. We do try to keep it pretty low key. Here are some suggestions to help this year.
We only make them on the first night and my MIL’s recipe saves me..
You’ll need a box of Potato Pancake Mix, a real potato, oil for frying and any fixings you’d like (sour cream or applesauce). Follow the directions on the box and your family will think you slaved in your kitchen all day.
Even working in the city all day, it won’t take much to prepare these for my family.
Get the full instructions here: https://www.themamamaven.com/2013/11/27/super-easy-potato-latkes/
Or if you want to make the latkes from scratch, break our your spiralizer and a few potatoes.
Recipe here: https://www.themamamaven.com/golden-potato-latkes/
Get a spiralizer here https://amzn.to/36lUqhQ
2. The Presents! While you may do the 8 nights of gifts, you don’t have to give massively big gifts. Maybe only make a big deal on one of the nights… For example — the first night is when we really do something with our family. We make latkes, have a nice dinner, give the biggest presents.. It’s not 8 nights of partying.
TIP: Wrap all the presents ahead of time (do you really want to come home from work and wrap gifts while you are trying to serve dinner and wrangle kids?). Make sure you keep track of what you wrapped (use a post it note or write in script on the back of your wrapped present), otherwise you’ll be playing “Unwrap the mystery gift”. It’s not as fun as it sounds.
Have a menorah ready ahead of time (and as my friend Jeff reminded me, “take off the leftover wax before you light the candles). Make sure you have enough candles on hand. The first night you light two candles (1 plus the Shamesh), the second night is 3 candles, the third night is 4 candles, etc.. — you need 44 candles. One box should be fine, but if you are lighting several menorahs, like we do – plan ahead and get a couple of boxes.
Sufganiyot (jelly donuts) is what you are supposed to serve as dessert. While you can make donuts from scratch (Pinterest is a great source for this ) – make your life easier and pick up donuts (Esti of Primetime Parenting serves Dunkin’ Donuts and has some great ideas to make your life easier in her Chanukah post). If you really want a great gluten free donut recipe — Ciaran from Momfluential has one here — http://www.momfluential.net/2012/11/30/gluten-free-mini-hanukkah-sufganiyot-donuts-with-nutella-filling/
If you don’t have any books about Hanukkah, use YouTube! I found a cute animated video story from Speakaboos here.
There’s more to Hanukkah songs than Adam Sandler (though I do love that song too). The Maccabeats’ newest Hanukkah song is “All About That Neis”, based on the Meghan Trainor song..We can’t get enough and even my 4 year old goes around singing this.
Make one of the nights about giving back. Kids can understand philanthropy – Parents Magazine had a great post about this – http://www.parents.com/parenting/money/donate-to-charity/6-ways-to-promote-philanthropy/. Your children can still get their presents on that night (some families choose the 8th Night for this), but they can put change in a jar for Tzedakah (or have parents donate in their name or find gently loved toys to donate, or even go to visit a nursing home and cheer up residents (though arrange this ahead of time, don’t just show up a nursing home or homeless shelter).
Make your candles be bright and your latkes be crispy! Happy Hanukkah (or whatever way you spell it).