My family flows from one celebration to another in December. I'm always curious about how other families build their traditions. I thought I'd share a tiny bit about ours. For us, Chanukah's emphasis is on the magic of lighting the candles with prayer and then singing festive songs. About five years ago we spontaneously choreographed a little dance to Sevivon. We've done this dance (while singing) each of the eight nights ever since. It's a silly one, and we all love it. It's our special family dance, not that we haven't shared it with others, but it feels like our unique tradition. We do open gifts, but it isn't the focus and I'm grateful for that.
Tomorrow we will celebrate the Winter Solstice, Yule: the shortest day of the year and the slow return of the sun. One of the ways we honor this day is by lighting a candle to signify the light and warmth of the sun and by singing our favorite sun songs... as you can see, we really like to light candles and sing. Next, we peel an orange for it's wonderful symbolism. We pass it around, taking a section and sharing our favorite memory of the sun over the past year. Then the person sharing eats their slice... tasting a bit of sunshine in each bite. We go around a couple of times. Our candle is by a local company, Sunbeam, that uses solar power to create their wares. Perfect. My son is an accomplished pianist and this year he will play a wonderful version of Here Come the Sun, while he and his sister sing along. I'm so looking forward to it!
These are not elaborate traditions, but they are meaningful and memorable to us. Happy Winter!