While we are not Jewish, Hanukkah has become important to me. As I have done a lot of teaching in areas with anywhere between a few Jewish students and predominantly Jewish populations and as "Traditions and Celebrations" is one of the units in the Grade 2 Social Studies curriculum, it's become a traditional part of my Advent. There's so much crossover between Judaism and Christianity, as well, it just seems like a natural overlap.
I had a lovely Jewish mother come into my classroom today and bring a menorah, dreidles for the entire class, chocolate gelt and a wonderful story. She presented to the class and made the celebration meaningful for them. I was beaming from ear to ear - I LOVE to see my students getting to have person experiences and form personal connections with the celebrations of their friends. I also love to see the pride they feel in who they are. I may not share their beliefs but I would fight tooth and nail to ensure their right to be recognized and valued. I bring religion into the classroom and I don't apologize for it. I also find it amazing how few parents have ever had anything to say about it.
At home tonight, Pk and I lit our menorah. I considered putting it in the window but, as our tree is right by the window, I thought that lighting it there might give us more light than we wanted. Pk was thrilled to be able to light a candle.
I'll get off my soapbox now, LOL. I'm just trying to decide whether I can skip making latkes this year, since we are having family for Boxing Day and the oil smell tends to linger... it does feel like something is missing, though.