Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

I want to go everywhere I haven't been, and back to everywhere I have been.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


The Holiday Blog Tour is from 2017

What's a nice Jewish girl doing in a Cozy At Christmas Holiday Blog Tour
Writing about Hanukkah traditions, of course!
 Thank you, to my friend, Katie, at Let's Add Sprinkles for including me!
At the bottom of this post, you will find links to 25 bloggers participating in the tour.
I hope you will visit them........
But first, let's talk about Hanukkah! 


Hanukkah is six days away, and how much have I done so far?
Zero, zilch, nada.
It's not that it takes much time to get ready..........

There's no decorating involved, as I've explained before.
Really, all I have to do is go down to the basement and bring up a few things.........
it will probably take me all of 20 minutes, but I'm procrastinating.  

Okay, I'm getting off my lazy derriere right this minute to haul that stuff upstairs. 

As I pull out menorahs, dreidels, and the like,
it's hard not to get caught up in the memories that each piece conjures up.

There's the big brass menorah that belonged to my grandparents, who I never knew.
I think it's one of the only things they brought with them from Russia,
and although I'm not 100% sure of that fact, I like to think it's true. 
There are no markings on it that I can find, 
and I'm guessing this menorah is both worthless and priceless, if that makes any sense.  
Perhaps if Antiques Roadshow makes a stop in NJ some time soon,
I can have that question answered.
I polish it up, and it looks pretty darn good for being at least a hundred years old.

Oh, here's the cheapy one I bought at CVS -- I don't even remember when,
but probably at least 20 years ago.

I don't remember if I bought the menorah "house" for Junior GS, or if someone else did.

Regardless, it was his clear favorite throughout childhood.
He loved deciding which candles to use each night.
I remember the first time we let him use the Shamash (the main candle) 
to light the other candles.......
It was a rite of passage!

Junior GS made the other two menorahs back in his pre-school days,
and they'll be on display just as they are every year.
I wonder whose brilliant idea it was to make a menorah out of wood???
Needless to say, we don't light that one, lol! 

I check the bulbs for the electric menorah I've had since my first apartment.
Still working! I don't think I've ever replaced them, lol!
Its place of honor is in the living room window for all to see,
as it's considered a "mitzvah" (a religious good deed) 
to remind the world of the Hanukkah miracle.

The menorah we bought in Israel is so beautiful,
and such a work of art, I can't bear to see it only at Hanukkah,
so it stays on display in the family room all year round.
 For Hanukkah, it comes off the shelf to join the other menorahs.

I place the 2,000 year-old pottery pieces we got in Israel next to it,
which brings a lump to my throat, as it does every year.
 The menorah and the pottery have a special story (read about that here)
the telling of which has become a tradition of mine for the past five years,
and will continue as long as I can get people to listen!

As far back as my memory goes, 
this is the menorah my parents lit when my sister and I were kids.
We'd fight over who got to choose the candles each night.
It's in terrible shape, and probably of no monetary value, 
but I'll never get rid of it.
 Boy, it brings back memories..........
especially the tradition we had of finding the presents 
which my parents hid under the couch, in a plant, on a shelf.

After saying the blessing over the candles, and lighting them, 
half the excitement of Hanukkah was searching for those gifts......
the other half was opening them, of course! 
I still remember when I found a Barbie Dream House behind the dining room drapes.
Man, that was the best Hanukkah ever!

We've continued the gift-hiding tradition with Junior GS all these years.
I wonder if he'll still want to play that game now that he's in college!
"You're getting colder, warmer, burning hot!' 
I'm preparing myself to hear that this is a tradition we should put to rest. 

Eighteen years ago, our friends gave this dreidel to Junior GS when he was born!

Oh, and this one? Such fond memories of finding it on clearance 
at TJ Maxx a couple of years ago, lol!

Junior GS bought me a little pillow at the school holiday fair
back when he was in elementary school.
I still adore it. 
 I hang it on the door knob, and that is the extent of my Hanukkah decorating.
Done and done. 

Okay, now I need to start thinking about gifts, which are mostly for Junior GS.
He's away at college, so our tradition of a gift (or two) 
on each of the eight nights will have to be modified.
Is he too old for that?
Nah, I don't think so........
Maybe I'll mail a couple to him, and then when he comes home, 
we can do the gift-a-night thing.
Our tradition has been to give him his big gift on the last night.

But what-oh-what will we give him????

As I'm looking to see if we have any Hanukkah wrapping paper,
my eyes drift over to the ping pong table, which was the "big gift" a few years ago.
It still makes me laugh my head off when I think how the table was delivered, and set up, literally behind Junior GS' back........
He was so oblivious to everything while he was playing his video games,
that it wasn't until the table was completely set up that he noticed it for the first time.

I can't forget a present for Sadie -- she loves Hanukkah!
She gets so excited when she hears us singing the blessing over the candles! 
She starts barking and howling,
because she knows it means a gift for her -- usually a few treats in wrapping paper.

On the last night, she gets her "big" gift, too -- a new toy.

I better contact Aunt Goo Shoes and figure out a date 
for our annual family Hanukkah party. 
Every year, she brings Junior GS a pile of gifts..........

 and she always makes potato latkes!

I'm a wee bit teary as I think about how our Hanukkah traditions 
need to be modified, now that Junior GS is grown. 
Things change.........that's the way it's supposed to be, right?

But, the great thing about traditions is that 
it's never too late to start new ones!

Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate!

 I am honored that my Hanukkah post is included in 
the Cozy At Christmas Holiday Blog Tour!
Thank you, Katie, at Let's Add Sprinkles for organizing this extravaganza!
Each day this week, a talented roster of bloggers 
features their takes on the holiday season.
Please visit them, and you are sure to find something that inspires you! 

Cozy At Christmas 

Best Of The Weekend
Wow Us Wednesday
Share Your Style


  1. I LOVE this post!!! I got tears in my eyes reading about the menorah your grandparents brought from Russia. A true treasure. The dreidels are also so stunning. Have a very Happy Hanukkah!

  2. Your menorahs are beautiful, as are the dreidels. I can relate to your nostalgia about past holidays--all the sweet memories! I feel it too, as I decorate. To everything there is a season, right? Happy Hanukkah! Blessings, Cecilia at My Thrift Store Addiction

  3. Thank you for sharing your beautiful traditions. Its wonderful to have the menorah that your grandparents brought as well as the ones your son made.

  4. What beautiful traditions! I know how it feels to have to modify traditions once your children head out into the world. So. Hard! Your menorahs are absolutely beautiful!!!! I love that each has a story. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Dear Toody, reading your post today brought tears to my eyes too. I'm a big hoarder of all things family-related, and the older the better! I was struck by the beautiful colors of Hanukkah while looking at your post and was happy to read that your son was able to buy the little Hanukkah pillow for you way back when. And from experience I can tell you, if you only knew how wonderful it is to have grandchildren in your life, you wouldn't be a bit sad about your son growing up!

  6. I loved reading every single word of this post. The colors, the different kinds of menorahs are so beautiful and fun to see, to hear about your memories... all of it was wonderful. I am sad to say I don't know a whole lot about Hanukkah but determined to find out more. I tried clicking on the Pottery post but it went to a picture and no post. I'll try and go back and find a post about it. So glad you were in the tour. Hope your new traditions with a college student are just as special even though different. I'm in the same boat. 3 kids, 2 in college and only 1 still home - waaaaay different now. And if I haven't said this before - I simply LOVE the name of your blog. So darn cute! Happy Hanukkah

    1. You're right - the link to the pottery story didn't work. All fixed now!

  7. I enjoyed reading about all of your Hanukkah traditions and think it's awesome that you're part of this Christmas tour! That brass menorah is simply amazing to have a piece from grandparents you have never even met! Happy Hanukkah Amy!

  8. Wonderful post. This brought tears to my eyes, my friend! I love, love reading about all your special Menorahs. I remember when my neighbor Nancy Neuvelt got a Barbie dream house for Hanukkah. I wanted one for myself but of course my Barbie house was DIY. Have a wonderful time with Jr. Bittersweet for sure.
    Thanks so much for sharing on our tour. Happy Hanukkah.

  9. This post made me laugh (jr not seeing the table lol) and tear up at the same time. Such wonderful traditions Amy! And here's a bit of unsolicited advice...even if jr says he's too old for something, do it anyway, deep down he'll love it.


  10. Miss Toody, this is the best post! I love family traditions, and the thought of you having your grandparents treasured Menorah makes my heart sing. Your traditions are wonderful, and I wouldn't change a thing! Your son will likely have fun with the "hunt" for his gifts. It makes it a challenge! Traditions are important pieces of family history. I suspect your son will someday carry on the tradition with his family.
    Thank you for sharing and Happy Hanukkah!

  11. Amy, you are never to "old" to love things your parents do for you around Hanukkah. Know matter how old you get you love when your parents do something nice for you. You have wonderful traditions and love your Menorahs. So neat about the pieces of pottery.


  12. I love hearing about all of your sweet family memories and traditions. No matter how old my boys get, we still keep with traditions. I hope they will carry them on to their family. I love all of the beautiful colors! Happy Hanukkah!

  13. I loved hearing about the Menorah your family brought with them from Russia. Such a treasured memory. Although my husband and I are not Jewish, his sister converted before she married her husband. They raised their children in the faith and now their grand children are learning the traditions of their faith. I have enjoyed watching them grow and practicing their beloved traditions. Thank you for inviting us into your home and sharing your memories with us.

  14. Traditions and memories are everything, and it was wonderful reading about the traditions that have been going on all of your life. The history in your Menorahs, and the treasures you've found here and yonder are fascinating. I know you'll find a way to keep up the traditions for your son.

    I am craving anything related to a potato, now that I saw the photo of those delicious lakes!


  15. Family traditions are so meaningful. My children are grown and although I miss the days when they were little, we are making new traditions that fit them being grown and on their own. Love your beautiful Hanukkah decorations and the stories behind them. Thank you for sharing.


  16. I'm so glad you are part of the tour! I really enjoyed reading about your menorahs. They are all so beautiful and it's fun to read of your traditions too. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family. :)

  17. Your newest menorah is gorgeous! I love the story of Hanukkah, something I did not know went back to biblical times 2000 years ago. And your story of the missing Menorah and broken pottery is wonderful. I have a Menorah because it is vintage, brass and gorgeous. I think I will take it out and display it. Happy Hanukkah!

  18. I loved learning more about Hanukkah and seeing your family heirlooms! Family traditions are so important and make wonderful memories. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family.

  19. Your menorah is beautiful especially since it is part of your family's history.
    There is nothing I love better than the combination of special times of the year and family!
    Enjoyed visiting,
    White Spray Paint

  20. Hi Amy, I always enjoy your posts and this one is lovely. It was very nice to read about your family traditions and it's so special to have your grandparents Minorah. No doubt Junior will be looking forward to seeing the house all decked out and you may find he is very sentimental now that he is away at college. Happy Holidays! Joan-MyCookieClinic

  21. These are all so beautiful and I clicked over to the pottery story and now I have chills!

  22. I loved reading about your family's history and seeing the beautiful blue hues of this most precious time of the year. Family traditions are absolutely the best thing in our world for us all!

  23. That is too funny about the ping pong table! And of course, I love all of the blues! Thank you for sharing. Have a Happy Holiday Season! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  24. Amy,
    I love seeing all your menorahs and hearing about your family's Hanukkah traditions. I would love to have some the potato latkes. My husband has a degree in Hebrew and Judaical Studies (we are not Jewish), and I learned a little about Hanukkah from him. He was a Bible translator and worked on Old Testament books. Your post is wonderful. Thanks for sharing your decorations and traditions.

    Happy Holidays,


  25. Amy, I always love seeing your menorahs and reading about your Hanukkah traditions. Your grandparents' menorah is lovely and your one from your trip to Israel but the one from your first apartment is too. It's wonderful that even Sadie is remembered, that sweetheart!

    Happy Hanukkah, dear Amy,

  26. I love this post! Our neighbor goes all out for Hanukkah - they decorate their house in blue lights, and have a giant, lighted dreidel (with blue spotlights shining on it) in their front yard. It looks so pretty! Thanks again for sharing!

  27. I love to see beautiful Menorahs. My dearest friend has an amazing collection from whimsical to ornate.

    Our son's first wife was Jewish and Steve made the Menorah for her first Hanukkah with use. He found driftwood on the beach and drilled holes for the candles. It fit well with our coastal style.

  28. I really enjoyed reading this post, that was so different from everything we read lately on blogs and somehow so similar... It's always about traditions, gathering and celebrating the return of the light, be it physical or metaphorical. Happy Hanukkah!

  29. After reading this I don't feel so terribly ignorant about Hanukkah....thank you!

  30. Hi Amy,
    Such beautiful traditions. And your grandparents menorah - definitely priceless and so beautiful.


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