8 Things to Love about Chanukah

It’s Chanukah this week, which means that Jewish people get to celebrate eight fun days and nights commemorating miracles and the victory of dark over light.
In no particular order, here are 8 reasons to fall in love with this minor in designation only Jewish winter holiday:
1. Latkes and Donuts and Schnitzel, Oh My: Sitting around eating fried foods is actually considered part of the observance. Since a large part of the Chanukah miracle involved pure olive oil (EVOO, to you foodie folks) meant for one day lasting for eight, it’s customary to eat food fried in oil, with latkes and sufganiyot (a Hebrew word for deep fried donuts) topping the list.
2. Add Some Light: Lighting candles and relaxing….like Netflix and chill, only with an eight branched menorah. The notion being, that while the Chanukah candles are lit, you’re not supposed to do any work, ergo- you must relax and spend time with your loved ones (even if your loved ones include romance novels and a bubble bath). Candle light and relaxation is built in to the celebration.
3. In a word: Maccabees: The good guys. The underdogs. The small but mighty warriors that won the day and won in a big way. Arch villains vs. warrior Jews resulting in candle related miracles. (It’s like Harry Potter, only different).
4. Gifties. Lots of them, if you play your cards right….Some say 8 nights worth. If you’re still looking for gift inspiration, check out this guide I wrote for Parade.com.
5. 21 Up: Oh, right. Card playing. It’s also on the agenda for some of us (a very minor number play card games at holiday parties in addition to spinning the dreidel). Bonus points for milk chocolate Chanukah gelt shared and shared alike.
6. Parties. Gatherings. Time with loved ones. Take some time off and just chill with your tribe.
7. Dreidels: Chanukah has its own branded/holiday related toy in the form of a spinning top. No Mensch on a Bench knockoffs needed.
8. Eight Days/Eight Nights. Unlike some holiday madness that lasts for only a day, we get to enjoy this one for eight of ’em!