My Hanukkah Miracle

by astanhaus


A very long time ago, my people made a tiny amount of lamp oil last 8 days. More recently, I was crafty and stretched $15 to pay for all of my toddler cousin, Bobbie’s Hanukkah presents. I know—what a miracle!

Night one: Latke making

The bounty of fried food is so yummy, but quite the hazard with a toddler. Bobbie’s job (with my close supervision) was to make the tiny piles of potatoes, which were then taken across the room to be fried. It was a productive 5 minutes and then we started making a mountain range of potatoes, a parking lot of potatoes, and a train of potatoes. I’m glad my Bubbie was overseeing the actual latke making. Bobbie was let go from his job for the following nights.

My $$ spent: $0   Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night two: Dreidel

A Hanukkah tradition that Bobbie is just learning, so I gave him a tutorial on all the strategies to get the best spin out of our family collection of dreidels. And of course, I taught him the song by heart…his mother is one lucky lady to hear it now constantly!

My $$ spent: $0   Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night three: Vitamins

Bobbie’s mom has been trying to get him to take his vitamins…trying really hard… they are gummies! But Bobbie is one stubborn toddler. And I am a huge fan of vitamins, they are one of my secrets to looking fab! I used my star power (according to Bobbie) to repurpose them as a gift!

My $$ spent: $0   Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night four pt. 1: Porsche Matchbox Car

I received a tip that Bobbie loves matchbox cars, so I searched high and low for the most fab one. I came up with a mini version of a gold 911 turbo. Bobbie and I pinky sweared, we are going to pull our $$ together and buy a life sized version…ugh eventually.

My $$ spent: $5   Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night four pt.2: Banishment

We had a bit too much fun playing with the porsche. Bubbie almost tripped (yikes!) with the latkes (double yikes!). For the rest of Hanukkah, Bobbie was banished from the kitchen! But Bobbie and I decided it would be more fun to be out of the house while our feast was being prepared.

Night five: Bus ride

Bobbie’s banishment fit perfectly with my already planned gift of a bus ride. He was pumped! Plus, he’s lots of fun. He made friends with all of the bus riders, telling them this was his Hanukkah present. The world would be a different place, if only everyone else loved taking the bus as much as Bobbie does.

My $$ spent: $0 (kiddies ride for free!)  Value  (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night six: Fire Station Visit & Fireman Helmet

While dinner was being made, we went around the corner to Bubbie’s local fire station. The fire men—and more importantly the fire truck— were in the station. Bobbie was given a tour of the truck. And as honored visitors, we received plastic fire helmets, which we wore for the rest of the night…and a little the next morning.

My $$ spent: $0 (Taxpayers, thanks for the fire helmets!) Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night seven: Ice-skating

Bobbie has a long-term goal of becoming a hockey player. Actually he’s more specific, he wants to become Sidney Crosby. We took a spin around the outdoor rink. I know he’s just a toddler, but I think he has great hockey playing potential!

My $$ spent: $10 Value  (according to Bobbie): priceless

Night eight: Train ride

Another public transit adventure, and this time during weekday rush hour. Just the sheer amount of people made him claim this was the highlight of my Hanukkah presents for him!

My $$ spent: $0 (kiddies ride for free!)  Value (according to Bobbie): priceless

Bobbie had a very happy Hanukkah. Lesson learned, I don’t have to spend lots of $$ to have a priceless holiday season! Good to know as the festivities continue with the other side of my family on Christmas Day!


(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy blog: XO, Bettie.)