The holiday season has finally arrived, and with it comes hot cocoa, fuzzy blankets, and last-minute shopping. There’s something whimsical about the holiday season, string lights illuminating neighborhoods, festive music faintly playing in shops, and glistening snow blanketing roofs and roads alike. Although most of this holiday merriment is associated with Christmas, my house, at the very least, is filled with Hanukkah spirit: a menorah, covered in dried candle wax of all colors, finally emerges from a cabinet; an endless supply of dreidels spills onto all the counters in our kitchen; and even a Mensch on the Bench -- a Hanukkah version of the timeless Elf on the Shelf -- comes out of hiding. These objects may not be the most extraordinary of things, but, to me, they are what makes winter winter.
The game of dreidel, in particular, has developed such a significant meaning to me. Over the years, I’ve found that it has an incredible way of uniting people. For example, though my cousins are generally much older than my sister and me, we still all sit in a circle on the floor each Hanukkah and play dreidel. We may not always know what we’re doing, but that only adds to the experience, laughter erupting throughout the room as we watch the spinning dreidels whirl for a few glorious seconds before comically falling over. I personally believe that the goofy, chaotic moments like these are far more valuable than the picture-perfect ones, the memories containing so much distinct character.