One year, in Prague, I went to a Hannukah party where we ended up playing "Drinking Dreidel" and having a dance party. I don't think that was a very traditional Hannukah celebration, though.
This year, I decided we should try to pull off a Hannukah celebration, complete with food and dreidels and everything! Jesse used to celebrate Hannukah when he was growing up, so I thought he'd be a pretty good source of information, but it turns out all he remembers is getting an extra 8 days worth of presents. No help there.
But I figured I knew enough to make the food okay, and we'd just kind of wing it from there. Here's how it turned out...
We made matzo balls and matzo ball soup. This turned out...not so delicious. I didn't season the soup properly, and the matzo balls tasted a bit like wet crackers, so it was just an all around flavorless, lumpy, wet spoonful you got when you ate it. People politely pushed their spoons around while suggesting things I should have used when making it, like salt and spices. I would say "next time" if there would be one, but I'm fairly sure there won't.
The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, by Lemony Snicket. I recommend it, and judging by the riveted looks on everyone's faces, they do, too.
In all, there was hanging out, drinking of wine, laughing at jokes, eating of food, and sharing in the wonderful company of my dear friends who showed up to celebrate a holiday none of us knew anything about.
I might not know the details of Hannukah, but I'd call our little makeshift celebration a smashing success. Happy Hannukah, everyone!!
Next up, Kwanzaa???