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Hanukkah with Family

Hanukkah begins Saturday at sundown with the lighting of the first candle on the menorah. It doesn’t carry quite as much weight as other holidays on the Jewish calendar, but since it’s part of the holiday season, we like to celebrate as a family.

First, we light my grandmother’s menorah in the kitchen (it lives on top of the fridge for most of the year), and I screw in a bulb on the electric menorah in our living room window. It’s tradition to put a lit menorah in the window for neighbors to see, but we thought it best not to risk a curious cat and very flammable drapes.

Next, it’s latke time. I’ve only just convinced my family that we don’t need the dried potato mix from a box. This year, I’m making curried butternut squash and potato latkes with apple salsa. We eat leftover latkes with applesauce for breakfast—they’re basically hash browns, after all—but we never serve them with ketchup (it wouldn’t be right!).

I hardly know anyone who gets a gift for every night of Hanukkah, but we typically do one small gift exchange sometime during the week. Another unexpected Hanukkah miracle? Eight days for last-minute shopping!

What are your Hanukkah traditions? Celebrate with these 25 Hanukkah recipes.