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I love this time of year because my family is spread all over Texas now, and it gives us an opportunity to travel to see one another. My daughter and my niece have so much fun together, and seeing them play brings me a lot of joy. Of course, I also love the food. Being 30 weeks pregnant, that's one of my favorite parts this year.
How do you make the holidays special for your family?
We make the holidays special by bringing them into our home with lots of great decorations, a nice collection of menorahs, really good-smelling candles and great food. Each night of Hanukkah, we light the candles with our 2-year-old and explain to her what the holiday is all about. We're still trying to get her to understand that these aren't candles you get to blow out!
What do the holidays mean to you?
The holidays mean gratitude, love and appreciation. I know this time of year can be overwhelming, but I try to focus on being grateful and appreciative of the wonderful things and people in my life. They're also about tradition. Now that we have kids, it's so important to my husband and I to instill in them a love of Judaism and the beautiful customs and holidays we get to celebrate.
So you have any tips you would love to share with other moms about the holidays?
First, make time for working out. Exercise really helps me destress, which I always need this time of year. When planning holiday gatherings, go with a menu that's easy to prepare ahead of time and make as many items that can be served room temperature as possible. Lastly, don't worry if your holidays don't look Pinterest-perfect. No one's do.
Have you started any new traditions with your kids?
This is the first year she's been able to actually hold the candle to help us light the menorah. It's pretty magical to see the look on her face as she does it and watch her listen to us sing the prayers over the candles. I can tell she's taking it all in.