Monday, November 28, 2011

Favorite Holiday Traditions

From Christmas to Hanukkah and everything in between, December is a month of celebration and tradition. Families all have their favorite ways of getting into the holiday spirit.


Festive Food 
Many traditional foods are cooked in oil in remembrance of the oil that burned in the temple for eight nights. Latkes--potato pancakes--and Sufganiya--jam-filled donuts--are both Hanukkah favorites.

Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel... 
In this traditional game, players start with equal amounts of candies, chocolate coins, which are called gelt, or other tokens. Each player puts one token in the pot and takes turns spinning the dreidel. Depending on which letter lands face up, they either take the whole pot, half of the pot, add to the pot or do nothing. The game is over when one player wins all of the tokens.

Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the Menorah
A candle on the nine-branched menorah is lit each night during the celebration. The eight candles symbolize burning of the oil that should have only lasted one night, but miraculously burned for eight and the ninth candle is used to light the others. 


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree! 
Picking out the perfect tree, tying it to the roof of the car and decorating it with lights and ornaments is a popular Christmas tradition. Wrapped gifts are placed under the tree until they are ready to be opened on Christmas Day.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 
This jolly, red-suited fellow is the epitome of Christmas for children. They get their picture taken with him, write him a wish list, sing songs about him and leave him cookies on Christmas Eve. Even adults enjoy the joy that Santa brings during this time of year.

Fa la la la la... 
Whether you go door-to-door singing with your friends and family or listen to continuous Christmas music on the radio in your car, these tunes are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit. As Buddy the Elf once said, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!"

Deck the Halls 
From outdoor lights and reindeer, to snowflakes and Santas, Christmas decorations create a festive feel during the month of December. Nativity scenes are also popular and help us remember what Christmas is all about.

A Christmas Story 
From classics like "It's a Wonderful Life" to modern movies, such as "Elf," this seasonal entertainment never gets old from year to year. "A Christmas Story" is also a favorite and plays all day on Christmas Eve. Sitting by a fire with a cup of hot chocolate is a perfect setting to watch your family favorites. 

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