Today is the first night of Chanukah. I had had fun in school, learning about Chanukah and singing Chanukah songs, but I’m eager to start the real fun. As soon as I get home, I go to the living room, and fidget with my menorah, running my finger along the carefully painted design. A delicious smell catches my attention. Eyes almost closed, I walk to the kitchen, where my mother is finishing up with her cooking and baking.
“What’s your favorite part of Chanukah, Mom?” I ask. I lean against the table stacked with trays of latkes and inhale deeply, waiting for the answer. My mother paused grating onions and thought.
“Well,” she begins. “When I was a girl, I used to love the first night of Chanukah, when my father would touch the shammash to the first wick to be lit. I loved being able to pick the colors of the candles to put in my menorah.” I smile. I like that part, too.
“What about now?” I ask.
“Oh, now I love seeing you and your sisters choose your own candles. I love cooking latkes and baking doughnuts for you.”
“Mmmm…” I sigh. Mom’s latkes are mouthwatering, her doughnuts a chunk of sugary goodness.
“Most of all,” Mom continues, “I love just spending time with you and Daddy, lighting the menorah.” She takes off her apron and gives me a hug. The door opens and Daddy comes in. Rina and Yocheved run into the kitchen and lean over the latkes, practically drooling. After Mom shoos us away, we gather in the living room, around the table near the windows. The menorahs that Rina, Yocheved, and I had made at school are arranged around Daddy’s tall, majestic oil menorah. One by one, we light our menorahs and sing the blessings. I see a tear appear in Mom’s eye, so I go over to her and return the hug she had given me earlier.