In our family, we have a wonderful Chanukah tradition:

Magic Menorah

Magic Menorah is a gift-giving spirit. He lives at the South Pole and he comes on each night of Chanukah to give gifts to Jewish boys and girls. But he’s so much better than Santa.

He doesn’t slide down the chimney in the dark of night. He doesn’t leave presents all in a pile. He sneaks into your house and hides presents, one each night. And then he tells your parents a clue to help you find your present.

Only parents can hear Magic Menorah speak. Children have to wait for the clue, which only comes after the blessings have been chanted, the candles are lit, and a few Chanukah songs have been sung.

I remember as a child telling my brother that Magic Menorah wasn’t real. “It’s just mom and dad,” I said. My brother, older and wiser, replied, “Don’t say anything. If you tell mom and dad you don’t believe in Magic Menorah, they’ll stop doing it.”

A few days ago, before Chanukah started this year, I asked the Kid if she is too old for Magic Menorah. She looked at me like I was nuts. “You’re never too old for Magic Menorah!”

I agree. But Magic Menorah never hides presents for me anymore. But maybe, if your kids are good, he’ll hide some presents for them.