Well for me - I cannot even hear the first discussions about Hanukkah without singing the Hanukkah song. It's just a ritual. It makes me happy every time I hear it. Especially the part about Paul Newman and Goldie Hawn. :)
Anyway - I'm not Jewish, but we celebrated a lot of Jewish holidays at the Lutheran church I attended when I was growing up. Our pastor - who was a really great guy and also our next-door neighbor - wanted all the Sunday school kids to understand and respect the holidays and their intimate relationship with ours, so I remember him doing little Seders at Passover, where we sampled all the food, and studied where those rituals came from.
He explained Hanukkah to us, and the symbolism of the menorah and the dreidel, and we ate latkes - thank you Paster Otterstadt! Maybe he was very snacky all the time - now that I think about it we ATE a lot in Sunday school.
But even as a wee tot, what I remember about our Hanukkah studies was all the blue. I thought it was a much PRETTIER holiday than Christmas (which I'm sure would have horrified him), and to this day I look forward to this beautiful blue week.
Later, when I was studying Russian in college, I was thrilled to learn that Ded Moroz - Grandfather Frost - their Santa-ish character - wore ultramarine blue for the most part instead of red.
The fact is it's a graphically fetching time of the year, in addition to being a meaningful time of celebration.
When I got my pre-order with the teeny birthday candle punch in it, my first thought was that this would make a spectacular Hanukkah card. So I made it.
To space them evenly, I cut a 1/4" strip of cardstock and put it between the candles as I was lining them up against the silver glimmer paper strip. Worked like a charm.
I'm still working on my Christmas cards - I'm giving myself a fuzzy deadline of this weekend to get them finished and in the mail since I don't have any classes this weekend. Then it will be time for the final spritzing of the fruitcakes and then the big event!
I have a great recipe for you too - I made these for my customer appreciation party this weekend - I had two cups of dried tart cherries left from the fruitcake production, so I made cherry oatmeal cookies and they were divine - perfect for those freaky raisin haters out there!
Martha's Cherry Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar (there’s a small chance I accidentally used a cup - and they were great!)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups dried sour cherries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. (These do NOT work on a non-stick cookie sheet - parchment is a must) In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder; set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes in your mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed to combine. Stir in the oats and dried cherries.
- Drop the dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 6 inches between cookies. Bake until edges are just turning brown, about 20 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Now tomorrow there will be a big sale - so don't miss out! It's the year-end sale and it runs from December 10th - January 4th. Shop here using host code KS94EJ7F and get a Christmas card from me! :)