Houston Shipt Shopper Melanie S. might be 1,000 miles away from her family this year, but that’s not stopping her from carrying on with her favorite Hanukkah traditions.
“One of my favorite things about Hanukkah is getting together with family each night to eat food and exchange gifts,” Melanie told Shipt. “Right now, I’m across the country from them. So, I’ll be doing things a bit differently this year, but still staying true to those same traditions.”
For Hanukkah, families often gather round each night to share gifts and delicious foods and treats. “My favorite is the latkes,” said Melanie. “They are a type of potato pancakes and go deliciously with this traditional applesauce that it’s served with.”
This year, Melanie and her son will be spending the holiday with neighbors and friends she’s made in her new community. And each night, they’ll make their way to someone else’s house to celebrate and light the Menorah (her son even has his own “toddler-proof” Menorah, she says).
Melanie told us that everyone gives and receives a little gift every night, usually something small or necessary. With a laugh, she said, “My son is still too young, so he’s not asking for things yet. But growing up, we received small yet important things every night until the last night. That’s when we got the ‘big thing,’ a gift that you really wanted.” She said she plans to continue that tradition this year with her Jewish “family” in Houston, as well as sending gifts back to her family at home using Shipt.
Melanie said that, being so far from where she grew up, it’s nice to connect with her new community through Shipt. With a few hundred shops now under her belt, she’s excited to have regular members, many of whom she now calls neighbors and friends.
“It’s been so lovely to meet my neighbors, and exchange our holiday traditions to learn more about them and their beliefs,” she said.
For Melanie, despite all the separate beliefs and traditions we might hold, there’s so much more common ground than differences — and sharing those with her neighbors, friends and loved ones is what makes the holidays so special.
What favorite holiday traditions makes this time of year special for you and your loved ones? Let us know in the comments below!