This holiday season was definitely one of the most special I've had so far. What made it so special? Well, not only did I get to spend time with my family for Hanukkah, I also got to experience Christmas with Eric's family and then finish up Hanukkah back in Boston just with Eric.
Though Hanukkah definitely isn't the most important Jewish holiday by far, I wanted to make sure that Eric got to experience a truly amazing Hanukkah celebration. We fried latkes together for a party at my mom's, he played dreidel with my little cousins at my Aunt Sandy's and made sure to remind me that it was time to light candles when it got dark outside. Even while we were in Florida celebrating Christmas with Eric's family, we made sure to light the iMenorah every night.
When we arrived in Jacksonville and celebrated pre-Christmas with Eric's extended family, I was immediately welcomed into the clan. We feasted on veggie lasagna and a delicious salad and participated in a fun gift swap.
For actual Christmas at Eric's parents house near Tampa, we had homemade ravioli (blog post to come!) for Christmas eve and opened presents together the next morning. That was probably my favorite part, not because I received gifts, but because I loved seeing how much thought everyone put into finding presents for the people they loved. I really enjoyed taking turns opening our gifts and watching joy erupt on the faces of both the gift receiver and giver.
I truly enjoyed spending night 7 & 8 with Eric in Boston. He played the role of the "helper" and held the shamash while I said the prayers. It was our own mini family celebration and was one of my favorite part of the holiday.
I loved asking questions about Eric's family traditions and answering questions about my own. I learned a lot about the importance of family and traditions over the past week and for that I feel truly blessed.