Before the circulars arrive, before we get up early for Black Friday or ignore work on Cyber Monday, those who celebrate Hanukkah get it going earlier than any person alive can remember.  Yes, the “Festival of Lights” begins tonight.

The holiday, which runs for eight successive nights commemorates re-dedication of the holy Temple in Jerusalem following the Jewish victory over the Syrian-Greeks in 165 B.C.E.  Most know Hanukkah for the Menorah, which has eight candles (one lit or each night) to symbolizes the “miracle” that occurred when the Jewish troops set out to light candles to purify the Temple.  After discovering they only had enough oil to last one day of candle burning, the oil somehow lasted for the desired eight.

It’s actually a minor Jewish holiday, but because we share presents I imagine every kid would call it the most MAJOR Jewish holiday of all!

My boys usually get one present a night (some big things, but usually smaller) unless their grandparents or aunts/uncles have sweetened the pile.  Tonight they get gift one.

But this year is kind of weird.  Where normally they would be amped up beyond belief, they are instead more focused on the half-day of school prior to the Thanksgiving break, going “into town” with their friends and going to a movie.  Maybe it will hit them when we light the first candle tonight and they get that first clutch of wrapping paper.  But I have a feeling the “real” Hanukkah feeling won’t begin until Saturday when we head to Aunt Sherry and Uncle Mike’s house our traditional Hanukkah bash.

It is one of my favorite days of the year with three generations of family under one roof.  The food is always great, we watch football or basketball games, with a “mandatory” nap time built in, and then after dinner open presents and eat tons of dessert.

So even though it won’t even be December yet, Hanukkah is here!  And somehow, someway, we will all get in the spirit!