Chanukah here in Israel can be a wonderful chance to spend time with our families or it can feel like a daily frustration that we don’t have vacation while our children do. The key to keeping that healthy balance alive throughout the holiday whether we are at home with our kids, wishing we were at work or at work wishing we were at home with our kids, is to find the joy in the time that we have and the things that we need to do.

In our family, we’ve had to deal with every variation of availability during Chanukah. Some years we were not able to get home and light candles until 9 o’clock at night, other years one of us was with the kids while the other feels as though they missed the entire holiday. Add a sprinkle of years where we were both home, but had no money to spend on Chanukah and you have every permutation of challenge in finding a joyful balance. What we learned from all of these experiences is that there is always a way to make it a special and family orientated holiday. In each situation, there was something unique. In the years where I lit candles with the kids alone, I could let my individuality and creativity shine baking cookies, having PJ story time and feeling no rush to get the kids to bed for some adult quality time. When we were blessed to light together as a family, even late at night, there is that special blessing of having your partner by your side, enjoying the transmission of a valuable tradition to your children. In those years we would let the kids nap and really let go of our stricter bedtime rules and rituals.

In order to find the perfect formula to release the hidden joys in the unique challenges that arise every year, I have a simple equation. Devise your schedule based on your needs and don’t be overly optimistic about your time and availability. Then add the time that you’ll have together minus your exhaustion and financial constraints. This will give you your true potential for enjoying the holiday. Don’t be afraid if the number feels small, that is precisely the miracle of Chanukah. Even the smallest amount of time and financial resources can continue to reproduce a miraculous holiday experience. Here are 3 tips for making little time and money flow into 8 days of Joy.

  1. Block Pintrest and your friends exciting, expensive and prolific posts about their plans.
  2. Focus on the things that your family already enjoys board games, movies, puzzles, playground time and simple printable coloring pages.
  3. Release your expectation, your guilt and the pressure to be perfect. Live in those moments with your family.

candelabro

I feel so honored to be able to share with your our hard worn experiences in creating a healthy Chanukah balance. Keep in touch with my new podcast on I Tunes for a quick 5 minute thought every day of Chanukah and so much more.