Last night was the first night of Hanukkah & in celebration I dusted off the menorah. This one was given to me by my mom & dad -perhaps for my first Hanukkah 7 or so years ago. I love it for it's simplicity -it's so clean and the design gives you all kinds of nice options. I also love it because it is so easy to clean. The vast majority of menorahs are awful in this respect.
My husband's family does not really celebrate this holiday and seems not to have transmitted any traditions from one generation to the next so I have been left on my own when it comes to Hanukkah. I do like to exchange small gifts each of the nights and include the associated fried foods (It can be hard to find a good potato pancake-I am going with Trader Joe's this year) .
Last year I ran out into the cold dark night to find jelly donuts -finally striking gold at the local Dunkin Donuts. One of my favorite Hanukkah memories involves a hospital I used to be the Artist-In-Residence at. Throughout the day they had announced on their PA that they would be holding a celebration in their lobby .Staff, patients and family gathered for song, food and celebration. It was very impromptu, more folks showed up than expected and there was something very warming about coming together with strangers who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to stop and celebrate for a few moments.