We have been celebrating Hanukkah for three or four years, now, but after this year, it holds more meaning than ever. That can be attributed to the wonderful information we found in an eBook I got last year in a newsletter from First Fruits of Zion called "Light in the Darkness". (I'd link to it, but can't seem to find it on the site--must have been a one-time thing.)
As we celebrated the eighth night of Hanukkah tonight, we had all gained a deeper appreciation of how lighting the hanukkiah (the Hanukkah menorah) represented the Light of the World, Jesus Christ--for the Temple menorah was also known as the Light of the World. We understood that we were choosing to rededicate the temples of ourselves to be a light to those around us, and to stand for truth and share God's love with others. And we understood how God had helped his people in the events that led to the Hanukkah festival, and that a Great Miracle Happened There.
And by the end of the week, the kids were almost able to remember the name of Antiochus IV, the Seleucid general who defiled the temple and murdered so many Jews in the first place! (Maybe next year will be better! :-D)
(I accidentally broke our home-made clay hanukkiah on the third night, so we improvised with tea lights for the rest of the week. Oh well, it worked--and was less messy, too!)
Happy Hanukkah, friends!