Mangers and Menorahs

My husband grew up in a Jewish home, so the tradition of reading Twas the Night before Christmas and leaving cookies and milk for Santa was not on his radar. So when I automatically started baking enough cookies for an army for our small trio, he asked why since Santa wasn’t coming to our house nor were there any youngsters looking up the chimney and no armies were invited for the holidays.  I told him it was apart of my holiday DNA.xmas

Even with some set DNA, there have been so many traditions that have changed over the years:  Baking cookies is one of the holiday traditions that I actually look forward to. I have my usual list of holiday favorites. –Pecan puffs, peanut butter, sugar, and easy schnecken. Basically the following recipe but instead of making your own dough, crescent rolls.  http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grandma-Douglass-Schnecken-51128800

The process of blaring Christmas music while I mix, bake and then pack up cookies helps me forget the commercialization of the holiday. I will take all my goodies in for work or send to school with my husband. We do keep a fair amount as well. I have adjusted the recipes somewhat from feeding small armies to maybe just one army.  Just in case you need a list of great cookies: http://www.food.com/slideshow/essential-christmas-cookies-140/easy-sugar-cookies-1

Motivation for the Season:

Christmas Trees: I grew up in rural areas. We were that family that traveled down long dirt roads and tramped through fields all for a REAL tree. It was always too big, but once dad had trimmed it down and used reels of fishing line to hold it in place, it was beautiful especially with blinking lights. Now, if I opt for a real tree, it is purchased and it can fit into our home without altering the tree or home.

Outside Lights: Minimalist. Whatever I put up, I’ll have to take down. I like lighted wreaths in blue and white and the Menorah in our front window. I like when there is overlap, and we do both because we are the only house that does this in our neighborhood.  http://www.menorah.net/home

Chanukah and Christmas: Our home celebrates both. We have found our holiday groove. This holiday tradition has most definitely changed for us both. My husband goes to the candle light Christmas Eve service and enjoys some of the Christmas songs. Silent Night is one of his favorites. I say the prayers with him as we light the Menorah. I decorate more in blue and white now. We will have a manger scene, a copy of Twas the Night, Menorah, dreidels, cookies, and love. Lots of love.

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