Hanukkah kicked off last night. We celebrated with a dinner at my parent's house and I made latkes by hand because my husband has Celiac and no one should have to go without latkes on Hanukkah. I second guessed myself as I hand-grated the third potato, but I think it was a great success. I am not a chef or a baker and in addition to my homemade gluten free latkes, I happily brought over a container of pre-made ruggelach from the grocery store and called it doing my fair share of the Hanukkah prep work. I will be boasting about making latkes from scratch likely until next Hanukkah, so, apologies in advance.
Ethan doesn't really remember or grasp much from the holidays last year so I feel this is the year where everything sticks. I'm trying to set up a nice foundation full of crafting and baking and traditions so that whatever sticks will be good things. I am submerging myself fully into Ethan's holiday joy but it's also hard knowing there is one child who won't be home for the holidays this year. It's a strange place to be and all I can do is hope I am succeeding at creating some magic for Ethan. We do Christmas and Hanukkah so, you know, double the pressure.
Although he didn't have much of an appetite for Hanukkah dinner, he found some room for ruggelach and dessert and a huge burst of energy when it came time to light the menorah. We did gifts at my parents house and then headed home for Ethan to open the Hanukkah gifts from my husband and I. I like the low-key vibe that Hanukkah brings. I also like latkes. If only there were eight nights of latkes.
I had initially wanted some nice frameable Hanukkah photos of Ethan. "Just smile. Please smile." I resorted to bribery. I resorted to promises of a trip to the beach. I begged. I pleaded. But eventually the best I got were a couple of snapshots of a filthy little boy in dire need of a haircut with ruggelach around his mouth, a huge sarcastic and annoyed faux-smile and no pants. Oh, but how these sum up Ethan at this age. They are just so very him -- and that's better than any staged smile any day.
Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate!