When I was growing up, for Chanukah, each member of my family would get to light their own menorah, many of which we made ourselves in Jewish preschool. With my family now, we do the same thing. Each year, everyone picks the menorah they are going to light that season as a way to illustrate each of us bringing our own light and individuality into the world.
I bake for all the holidays with the kids, as my mom did with me, including cinnamon rolls the first day it snows each year. And, sending out holiday cards was a big tradition in my family.
Celebrating the Jewish holidays with our family has always been a priority for both my parents. We helped my mom cook, we always dressed up for the holiday, and our primary focus was sitting together either at a meal or in temple, with no distractions of television or telephones. My children, especially my three-year-old, Harrison, now know the importance of the Jewish holidays, and know it is important to dress up, eat together, and just be as a family.
Some traditions we did as a family were delivering meals with Maot Chitim. I have really enjoyed continuing this tradition with my family. They look forward to each visit and we have many discussions about what it means to give.
On Mother's Day, my husband and daughters serve me breakfast in bedwith cards and a flower-and I love it! I remember doing the same for my mom when I was younger and her excitement gave me such pride!
When I was little, I loved cooking with my mom, Corinne. Now that she's gone, making her recipes with my son, Joe, is a great way to pass on what she taught me, while sharing stories about her with him.
As a child, I was always expected to be home Friday night for Shabbat dinner. My mom would make a wonderful meal and we would light the Shabbat candles together and say our prayers. Now as an adult, I try to continue the tradition. When my mom visits from Florida, it is always a special Shabbat full of love, laughter, and lighting the Shabbat candles. It's so meaningful to be able to follow the traditions my mom set when I was younger.
One of the many special things I learned from my mom that I carry on with my girls is writing little surprise notes. When I leave a silly, thoughtful love note for them in their lunchbox, camp bag, or sock drawer, it lets them know I am thinking of just them. Hopefully this will remain a lasting memory like the ones my mom left for me!
When I was a kid, my mom would decorate our bedrooms with balloons and streamers the night before our birthdays so that we would wake up the next day in a celebration room. I now do this for my own children, and they love it just as much as I did!
~Compiled by Michelle Cohen