Advent to Hanukkah

Advent is usually associated with Christmas, but my husband and I have decided to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in our house so I thought a mixed title was quite appropriate for my contribution to this holiday blogging event. Yes, there’s the chance my boys will grow up to be very confused about their religious upbringing, but I figure life is confusing enough…why not make is more so? And since I’m not converting to Judaism, many Jews won’t regard my boys as “true Jews” so we’re really stacking the cards against them. But hey, their waspy-goyish mom can make a mean latke. Seriously, they’re beyond. Here’s my secret: you’ve got to hand-grate the potatoes. No food processors allowed. And keep the already grated potatoes in ice-cold water while you’re grating the others so they don’t turn pink and brown.

Friday is the first night of Hanukkah, and we’re having a small gathering on Saturday night. I’m in charge of the organizing and cooking, as I have been the last nine years of our tradition, and I love the smell of frying potatoes, apple sauce, melted wax, and chocolate wafting throughout the house. Kids playing dreidel and running around the house add to the festive scene and I especially like it when Hanukkah and Christmas don’t overlap, so Hanukkah can be the sole focus of the night. Lighting the menorah to commemorate the miracle that a single day’s worth of oil lasted for eight during the purification of the Temple’s rededication is my favorite Hanukkah moment. Bringing light into the dark is a ritual many people cherish, especially during the Winter Solstice. So while the lighting of the candles is on a menorah, it also feels very all-inclusive and transcendental.

I know I joked about religious confusion above, but the crux of this is a warm and loving home with traditions children can hold onto. Love transcends religion and my boys will feel that, regardless of what path they choose. Whether they have a menorah or a Christmas tree, or both (or neither) in their adult homes, they will always remember having playful and loving Hanukkah parties when they were kids. (Even if there was Christmas music playing in the background every now and then).

So what perfume will they remember me wearing this holiday season?  Probably a delicious mash-up since I’m constantly trying new scents, oils and body creams. DSH Perfume’s Epices d’Hiver is getting a lot of skintime this fall/winter. I reviewed it here, but I’ll reiterate that it’s a spicy gourmand, powdery-vanillic comfort perfume that will no doubt become a cold weather staple.

Ayala Moriel Parfum’s Fête d’Hiver has become another winter favorite, and is spicy in a completely different way. It’s richly floral as gardenia, rose maroc absolute and rose otto lavishly glisten throughout Fête d’Hiver’s structure. Just a pinch of allspice and nutmeg impart the piquant edge, while Ayala’s amber accord adds a delicious and cozy, powdery vanilla. A resinous woody base of frankincense and sandalwood, gilded by the winterized gardenia allows us to leave our fête with perfumed snowflakes lingering on our skin as the night comes to a close.

Much thanks to Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfume for organizing this Holiday Blogging Event. Please visit the links below to read the other participants’ contributions.

Sunday – November 29th: Guest blogger Jane Sibbett opens the Circle

Monday – November 30th: Guest blogger Wendel Meldrum

Tuesday – December 1st: Roxana Villa

Wednesday – December 2nd: Guest blogger Ida Meister

Thursday – December 3rd: Memory and Desire, Heather Ettlinger

Friday – December 4th: Memory and Desire, Jason Ettlinger

Saturday – December 5th: Guest blogger Jade Shutes

Sunday, December 6th, Eve and Roxana

Monday – December 7th: Indie Perfumes, Lucy Raubertas

Tuesday – December 8th: Scent Hive, Trish

Wednesday – December 9th: Olive Bites, Catherine Ivins

Thursday – December 10th: Perfume Smellin’ Things, Tom

Friday – December 11th: Lillyella, Nicole

Saturday – December 12th: The Non-Blonde, Gaia

Sunday – December 13th: Portland Examiner, Donna Hathaway

Monday – December 14th: Xenotees, Noelle

Tuesday – December 15th: The Beauty You Love, Lee

Wednesday – December 16th: Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, Mrs. B

Thursday – December 17th: The Artful Gypsy, Wendy Amdahl

Friday – December 18th: Perfume Shrine, Helg

Saturday – December 19th: Notes on Shoes, Cake & Perfume, Wendy

Sunday – December 20th: Grindstone Girl’s Daily, Kathi Roussel

Monday – December 21st WINTER SOLSTICE: Perfume Smellin’ Things, Beth

Tuesday – December 22nd: Guest blogger Davis Alexander

Wednesday – December 23rd: Guest blogger Greg Spalenka, Artist as Brand

Thursday – December 24th: Fringe, Dennice Mankarious

Friday – December 25th: Asking Leah, Leah

Photograph by my husband

Posted by ~Trish


12 thoughts on “Advent to Hanukkah

  1. Num, num, can I come over for latke please?!
    Your holiday party sounds grand Trish, I bet it will be a feast for all the senses.
    From what I can tell, having raised a daughter in a family with very eclectic belief systems, a child is more apt to be tolerant of others and have a clear sense of their own core beliefs when there are many options presented.

    1. Roxana,

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Growing up in my house, my parents always had a World Religions book on the coffee table and that had a big impact on me.

      Thanks again for gathering us together for your Advent Blog-O-Rama!


  2. I think celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah is awesome! Who cares what other’s think about the “Jewishness” of your kids. To some they wont be Jewish enough and to others, they’ll be too Jewish. You can’t please anyone but yourself!

    1. Thanks for the confidence booster urbandaddy! 😉

      I agree with you of course. At dinner last night my son referred to a kid in his class as “really Jewish” and I had to explain that no Jew is anymore Jewish than any other Jew. Maybe more observant, but not more Jewish. Funny that it starts so early.

      Thanks for commenting and reading!


  3. Dear Trish-

    I LOVE hearing about your household !
    It reminds me of ours, when the boys were little….

    Raising Jewish children in Southie, with a father of Rabid Catholic/ Lapsed Lutheran background , we felt it was imperative to enfold all sorts of culture.

    I made both holidays for about 15 years- including very German and Lithuanian Xmases and Easters from scratch 😉

    I suspect that, in your house-
    As in ours-
    The emphasis is placed firmly on loved ones, NOT stuff.

    Blessings to you and yours, always .

    1. Chaya,

      Your home sounds like it was rich with lovely traditions! And yes, so important to focus on loved ones, and those in need rather accumulating more things. Our boys will get their share of stuff, but much of it will be books 😉

      And last night we told them one night of Hanukkah will be present-less for them, and instead they get to pick a charity to donate their gift money to. At first they looked a little disappointed, but then were getting into the decision making process after they figured out there are so many organizations that need help. At least my 8yo did, it’ll take a little more time for my 5yo to grasp it I think.

      Blessings to you as well and one day I hope we cross paths!


    1. Thanks so much Donna. It’s cozy, but we have our “moments”. There was a choice one tonight. Meltdown after the school sing-along.

      The joys of parenting!! 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s