My in laws have this awesome little tradition: on the first night of Pesach – right before the Seder begins, they give out gifts. To EVERY single family member. That might not sound like a lot – but it is! 9 children, 3 in laws, one grandmother (maybe 2 depending on the year), 4 grandchildren, mother in law and father in law too! What’s really cool is that all the gifts are themed. This past year, all the women got to choose from a variety of handbags, all the men got to choose from a variety of ties… needless to say, I think it’s a marvelous little tradition.
Setting the Tone for the New Year…
In my own family – on Rosh HaShana, we began this tradition of giving a Rosh HaShana gift. I think it began because our anniversary is so close to the Jewish New Year – but either way – it stuck and has been going on the past few years. On Rosh HaShana we also like to discuss certain things we’d like to work on for the upcoming year… character flaws or ways to better ourselves.
Sugar…ohhh Honey Honey
Another tradition that we like to do – is make honey cakes for our neighbors. We did it a few years ago, and I’m really excited to be doing it again this year. It’s not a huge production of Honey Cakes, but just a few … and we hand deliver each of them and spend a few minutes visiting with our neighbors giving them good wishes for the New Year. I got this idea from my old Rabbi who in the weeks leading up to Pesach personally hand delivers a box of Matzah to his congregants along with a visit.
You’ve Got Mail!
Of course we try to do Shana Tova cards – but since I’m still somewhat of an insane perfectionist, it’s not always possible to do it every year, but I try J (and in the years I don’t do my usual cutsy Shana Tova card, I at least mail out a few to the Bubbies and other special loved ones) This year I’m really happy we were able to send out Shana Tova / We Moved cards so everyone will have our new address.
There is Superstition…
Ok – This one is actually a “traditional tradition” but it’s EXTREMELY important to me. (go figure) – I am very scrupulous when it comes to checking our Mezuzos and Tefillin. They say that Elul is a time to get these checked – and I’m a pretty superstitious Jew – so I would say it’s one area that I’m really religious JJ
We are Family…I got all my sisters and me …
And finally – one more tradition that I like to do – for ALL holidays actually – is to incorporate a recipe (usually it’s a baked goodie) from my mother OBM, or my Grandmother OBM. They both had a plethora of yummy traditional family recipes all of which are hugely unhealthy – filled with butter and cream and pure European deliciousness, so obviously this is quite problematic for me, but I like keeping those recipes alive. (I’m still contemplating altering the recipes to make them healthier, but then that would just change the recipe entirely… so needless to say, I’m a little conflicted)
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Well, those are my little New Year traditions … do you have any minhagim you like to do in your family? With your kids? Siblings? I would love to hear what YOU do in your house to make the Yom Tov special.
Wishing you and your loved ones a K’sivah VaChasimah Tova – a happy, VERY healthy and VERY sweet new year!!!
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On Wednesday I will be announcing the winner for my 100th Post Giveaway … and its not too late to enter (or get more entries) Click here for more information on the giveaway.