Hanukkah Surprise Keepers
Hanukkah Surprise Keepers
Hanukkah (which means dedication) is an eight night celebration about when the Maccabees (a small band of Jews) defeated the Greeks and tore down the pagan idle that was in the temple of YHVH (God). The Jews had to clean the temple and rededicate it before it could be used to worship YHVH again. The legend has it that they only found one days worth of pure oil that they could use to light the menorah. Rather than wait for new oil to be made, they lit the menorah on faith and the one day’s worth of oil lasted eight days!! (You can read the story of Hanukkah HERE) Even if the legend is not true it is quite marvelous that a small band of Jews defeated the Greek army and stood strong against paganism and valiantly stood up for God’s Torah!!
The story of the Maccabees inspire us to want to be strong and courageous like they were, to stand up against things that oppress us. We use this time to rededicate ourselves back to God (1 Corinthians 3:16) So many times in our lives we have things that could be idles pop up. We have to stay vigilant and tear them down as soon as we notice them. Hanukkah is a time we take to really look for the “idles” in our life. Maybe it is money, the computer, our job, our friends. Anything that takes your focus and time away from YHVH can become an idle.
What we do as a family is read the story of Hanukkah and have eight days of introspection so we can identify what “idles” need to be “torn down” so we can be a clean vessel for the Almighty. We rededicate ourselves back to doing Bible things in Bible ways! It seems like a perfect time of year to get refocused since the New Year begins in just a few weeks after Hanukkah!
Along with the spiritual aspect of Hanukkah we like to enjoy this time with our children and enjoy some traditions from our brothers Judah (The Jews) along with making some of our own traditions. Traditions are memories in the making and special memories are important for families. For Hanukkah we try to do something special to do with our kids each night of Hanukkah. It is hard to think of something special to do for eight nights! So I decided to make a list of things we could to do each night. But a list seemed kind of boring to just go down a list, so I decided to get creative!!! I created a new tradition… Hanukkah Surprise Keepers!! The idea is to let the kids open up one box a day each day of Hanukkah and a note inside tells what fun thing we get to do that night! Now you can get as fancy or as simple as you like, have fun with it and use your imagination!!
Here is what I did…
I bought 8 little crate looking boxes at Hobby Lobby, I can’t seem to find them any more but they do have other types of small boxed that can be used…
I also bought a couple sheets of 3D stickers that were snowman themed! If I was gifted in painting I would have loved to paint a scene of the story of the Maccabees but I am not talented like that! But living in Texas we get very little snow so I like to decorate with a snow theme to make it feel a bit more like winter!!!
I painted the crates white to go with my theme (spray paint is easier than hand painting, I tried both). Notice I used “Miracle” Paint ha-ha!! Fitting, right?!
The stickers I used were on a sheet that was one long scene of snowmen so I had to line them up and cut where it would fit together fairly well when sitting side by side. That was a little tricky at times but it worked.
I bought little battery operated tea light candles at the Dollar Tree two in a set for $1, to set on top. (They didn’t fit as well as I would have liked but tilted slightly worked!
The eight crates were lined up and the snow scene is displayed almost perfectly and the sparkly tea lights looked too cute on top!!
Inside I made little envelopes and cut pieces of card stock to make cards to fit. I added snowmen stickers too to keep with my theme!
The note card inside has a snowflake …
…and a message of what fun thing my family will get to do that night!!
I think they look really cute sitting in a row on my entertainment center (I don’t have a mantel or they would be there) And the kids really enjoy getting to see what the surprise is each day!! Adding a little special surprise to each day makes the holiday all the more fun… and who couldn’t use a little more fun on the cold dreary winter days!!!
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