Could someone please stop the time?!? The beautiful moments and wonderful days just pass by way too quickly! Even the long-burning candles burn down too fast! I try to hold on to the moments, the relaxing mornings, lazy days, the good times with friends and family, the beauty of all the hanukkiot (hanukkah-menorahs) that grow brighter every night, the wonderful flavors of all the sufganiot, the feeling of the hot cider in my mouth, – all of it! There is just so much to enjoy!
On the first night, the children got some new really cool dreidels, which were very popular. We have quite a collection of dreidels, as we add a few new ones every year, and still keep the old ones.
On the second night we celebrated our princess’ birthday, and after the very girly party we did a walk in the streets Jerusalem by night. It is always beautiful as all the hanukkiot shine so brightly through the windows and in the doorways.
The walk ended by the Western Wall, and that is always a special sight by night as by day!
We were already together with some good friends, and ran into another good friend at the Western Wall, who also joined us home for some hot cider and sufganiot and another lighting of the hanukkiot. Oh, life is so good!
It was a wonderfully crisp winter day, and just perfect for a stop for some yummy hot chocolate.
Oh, I so enjoy these days free of the regular pressure of every day life. Just time together. Moments. Walks. Lights. Memories.
During our walk we went by an impressive exhibition of hanukkiot done by some amazing artists. Look at this one with Jerusalem in it for example!
Or this one with a star of David in it!
As it was becoming dark outside, we ended up at home again, where we lit three candles on our hanukkiot, in addition to the shamash, the servant candle, that lights the others. It was just lovely to rest in the warmth and brightness of our home after our long walk and all the fresh air during the day. The children went to bed early, as the night before had been really late. And the grown ups got to have a fun movie-night. I love how relaxed hanukkah is, compared to many other holidays!
On the day of this third candle, our family got to do the mitzvah of visiting the sick, as we have someone in our community who is recovering from a fall and a broken leg. It was a blessing for us to be able to be a blessing and come there with a bit of hanukkah-joy to those who are not as fortunate as us, and don’t get to celebrate the holiday in the comfort of their home. I think they especially enjoyed it when the children sang some happy hanukkah-songs.
On the evening of the fourth candle, started the birthday celebration of our dear Abba, as our family has two hanukkah-birthdays! (Just think how convenient it is if we had forgotten to get birthday candles, – we can just take from the abundance of hanukkah-candles!) My in-laws live just up the street, so we first lit the candles with them and had a little celebration there, – of course with sufganiot! (This time with Irish Cream filling! Yum!) Well at home we had homemade pizza and the cake of his choice; chocolate cheese cake! (We hadn’t planned a big party for this evening, as he was not even supposed to be home, until something changed last minute.)
Tonight will be the fifth candle, which brings us into the second half of Hanukkah. I am sure glad we still have four days to enjoy this wonderful Hanukkah-atmosphere! The hanukkiot just keep getting more and more beautiful as more candles are lit, and we try to hold on to the moments and make the most out of all of them!