Friday, December 7, 2012

Chanukah Gelt - American Style

     Tomorrow night, Saturday December 8, is the first night of the 8 day holiday of Chanukah.  Among the many traditions is distributing money, called Chanukah gelt, to children.  I've tried to find the origin of this custom, but to no avail.  Anyway, when the candy makers caught wind of this money-gifting, they made chocolate discs, shaped like coins, wrapped them ib gold or silver foil, and came up with their own version of Chanukah gelt.  It's fun, harmless, and delicious.

     Now, let's go back in time, to when our children started kindergarten.  The creative teachers tried to engage their young students with holiday stories.  And as the year progressed, they went from Halloween, through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, May Day, and Mothers Day.  For each holiday, the kindergarten teachers tried to dress the part and decorate the room appropriately.

     One year, at St. Patrick's Day, the teacher dressed all in green and explained the legend.  Our child was so excited when he came home - "Mom, do you know what the leprechaun gives the good girls and boys on St. Patrick's Day?" and, without waiting for an answer, he opened his hand to show the gold foil wrapped chocolate candy and said "Chanukah Gelt."

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