For Jewish and interfaith families with young children, this holiday season could be termed the “December Dilemma.” Where and how do you celebrate (the somewhat minor holiday of) Hanukkah when it overlaps with Christmas? Since Hanukkah begins at sunset on Tuesday, December 20 and ends at sunset on Wednesday, December 28 it’s possible that the festival of lights gets lost in the holiday shuffle.

First stop: check out the amazing listings available to young families, empty nesters, and singles seeking singles at www.jewishboston.com.  We’ve taken the liberty of including a few of the best family selections found on that excellent site, but there are literally hundreds of Tot Shabbats around the Greater Boston Area during the month of December—all of which are sure to celebrate the season and its great traditions. Interfaith families might also want to stop at www.interfaithfamily.com for ideas about how best to approach the December Dilemma. Interfaithfamily.com is a national organization, but lists various events and resources available to Boston-area families.

Flip Over Chanukah
Jewish Community Centers of Greater Boston
RSVP $15/family
December 11, 2011 @ 10-11:30 AM
Cole Center, 179 Boden Lane, Natick

This is not your average Chanukah party. Sure, Flip Over Chanukah promises the tradition of lighting the menorah and learning about all that it symbolizes, but families are invited to create their own miracles as kids flip, jump, and bounce through a Chanukah obstacle course followed by a Chanukah sing-a-long. Perfectly geared toward families with children ages 2-6 years. Register here or call 508-879-3300 or metrowest@jccgb.org for more information.

Note: On December 11 @ 10AM to 11:30 AM Flip Over Chanukah will also be held at Academy of Gymnastics, 808 West Street in Stoughton. Registration is $15 per family.

Hanukkah Shuk/Bookfair
December 11, 2011 9 AM to 2:30 PM
Temple Emunah, 9 Piper Road,  Lexington

Grab the kids and get some shopping done at Temple Emunah’s annual Hanukkah Shuk & Bookfair  (The Shuk is an outdoor marketplace in Jerusalem) offers one-stop holiday shopping for all. Featuring Jewish books for all ages & interests, and a crafts marketplace with handmade clocks, jewelry, ceramics fused glass, photography & much more.  Admission is free.

Chanukah in the City
Combined Jewish Philanthropies
December 11, 2011 10AM-12PM
Back Bay Events Center
200 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

This is our “editor’s pick” for Chanukah activities—not only because it sounds like a great time, but because my kids and I are huge fans of musician Josh Shriber, who is the brains behind Jammin’ With You program. Families can dance, sing and create Chanukiot and other crafts. Latkes and other Chanukah snacks will be served. The party is geared toward kids under 7 years of age, and while it’s free, families are asked to contribute a new, unwrapped book or toy that CJP will deliver to a child in need. For more information or special accommodations, please contact Rachel at rachelw@cjp.org or call 617-457-8581.

 

Chanukah Lights at the Vilna Shul
Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture
December 18, 2011 3-5:00 PM
Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture
18 Phillips Street, Boston, MA 02114

This musical celebration features young artists from Boston University School of Music performing Chanukah songs and other Jewish favorites. The venue may be as fascinating as the performances: The Vilna Shul is Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture, and the last remaining immigrant-era synagogue in the city. Built in 1919, it has become the place for people from around Boston and the world to connect with the Boston Jewish historical, cultural, and spiritual experience. Concert admission is $18 per person or $36 per family. The proceeds from this concert will be used to support The Vilna Shul. Validated parking: $5.00 RSVP for reservations.

Finally, since Hanukkah is all about family home cooking, we thought we’d include a link to the irresistible online grandmother of Feed Me Bubbe.

Order Bubbe’s newly published cookbook (a bestseller in the Kosher cooking category!) or cook with her  online. Either way, you have no excuse for not getting the whole family making the potato latkes!

 

Happy Hanukkah!