Hi all!

I am writing a little less this time, but I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Chanukah. This year the holiday spans from December 2nd to the 10th and all sorts of festivities have been happening!

Chanukah is something very new to me, but I am embracing every second of it. This will be the first year I will truly be celebrating Chanukah. Last year, I celebrated one night of Chanukah with my friends. All of my friends and I gathered together and made matzo ball soup and latkes. First of all, I am a solid sour cream fan on my latkes over apple sauce. Second of all, I thoroughly enjoyed the exposure to all of these traditions for the first time. My journey before I got to UNM was a roller coaster. But due to the turbulent ride, I have gained so many families! One of my family units is Jewish and I was so excited to celebrate with them. However, I will be missing the Chanukah celebration at home. Fortunately, I have found my friends that are excited to celebrate it here on campus!

The photo I sent to my family back home!

Three of my good friends in the dorms are Jewish. One night, I think we were all talking about the holidays and we thinking of having a little Chanukah away from home. We were all so excited! The plans soon turned into a big group of us who wanted to participate. Tonight was the first night. We all gathered together to light the cutest and smallest menorah I have ever seen and my friends and I all listened to the prayer two of my friends said in Hebrew. We all clapped and cheered to kick off the first night! After lighting the menorah, we received chocolate gelt and wrapped dreidels just in time for a loud and competitive game. While I had to return a little early back to my room, I was full of happiness from the festivities.

When I came back to my room, I sent a picture of the menorah to my family back home. I was so excitied to share my experiences with them. I am so happy my friends are so accepting and willing to celebrate with me and others at UNM. With the holiday season just around the corner, regardless of the holiday, I hope all of your families and friends spread happiness and the holiday spirit!

Happy Chanukah,

Anna