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Away from Home on Hanukkah?

Do you remember being away from home, maybe at college, when major holidays came up? I couldn’t afford to fly home for Thanksgiving. And I didn’t have a car. So, for at least two of my four years, I ate turkey and sweet potatoes in our college cafeteria.  Let’s just say, it wasn’t the same as home-cooked!

Given how early Hanukkah is this year, it’s likely that many of our kids and grandchildren will still be hitting the books at college or living in their own apartments on December 8th, the first light.

To support students and 20-somethings, we created the perfect way to send your love and warmth, with a Hanukkah Helper Box.

We’ve packed this with everything needed to host a Hanukkah party, including a tin menorah, candles for all eight nights, chocolate gelt to share, dreidels, blessings, songs, and a game. There’s even a quick overview of the story, so if friends ask, “What is Hanukkah about?,” the answer is right at hand. There are also recipes for potato latkes and edible dreidels.

The great thing about creating a party with friends for Hanukkah is that it doesn’t have to be a huge cooking festival.

Edible dreidels, for instance, require zero cooking – and only four ingredients! Imagine small pretzel sticks as the dreidel handles, jabbed into one end of marshmallows. Then, just by adding some kind of food glue (e.g., frosting), you can press the flat side of a Hershey’s Kiss to the frosting. Want to take it one more step? You can use gel to add Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin letters on each side. Complete instructions with variations are in the Hanukkah Helper Box.

No interest in, or proper cooking tools, to make latkes? No worries. Most grocery stores will have some kind of doughnuts, fulfilling the tradition to eat foods cooked in oil.

Also in the box are original Hanukkah Libs Silly Stories. Although I’m far from the college demographic, I roared as some young people filled them in, then read them aloud to me. There are five stories based around topics that resonate with this audience, including “The Hanukkah Party,” “Home for the Holidays,” “The Night the Lights Went Out,” The Care Package,” and “Out for a Run.”

It goes without saying that college students often have their own concepts of what a celebration is. “Kegs and Kugels,” for instance, was the name of a get-together at our daughter’s university. And I’ve heard quite a few stories about how dreidel games can be played on campus. But that’s not something this Mom can write about, in good conscience.

Since launching this product, we’ve learned that it is considered a boon for other audiences, as well. For instance, one woman is ordering it as a gift for her in-laws who have recently downsized. And an experienced mom/educator reminded me how easy it is for little hands to put candles into the tin menorah and, just as easily, to take them out. I had to laugh when she shared this, since I saw my own young grandson do just that, multiple times, in my office and hadn’t had that “aha” moment. Yet another mom who doesn’t celebrate Hanukkah likes the idea of this box as a way to show her large family what the Hanukkah traditions are.

For more Hanukkah ideas and games for your family or as gifts, use code BJN at checkout for free shipping through December 15th.

Ellen Zimmerman, Jewish Holidays In A Box

About Ellen Zimmerman

Ellen Zimmerman

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One comment

  1. I want to caution people about "Away from home for Hannukah?" The most common cause of house fires is candles. They are not allowed in dorms and shouldn't be allowed in college rentals. So I urge anyone who wants to send their college student a package for Chanukah away from home to buy an electric menorah. My son has been lighting up MIssoula one light at a time for five Chanukahs now–it works great, and he loves it.

    Just a thought!! Good shabbos