Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Mensch on the Mantle Recap (For Those of You Just Tuning In)

I am linking up with Kelly's Korner to talk about what I hope will be my family's new Chanukah tradition: The Mensch on the Mantle! Yes, I do know that is all that I have been talking about for a week straight both on the blog and in real-life, but for anyone still willing to listen, here's the short version:

My friend Stephanie and I pondered how to make a Jewish equivalent of all the magical elves who are so popular these days. While my children were missing out on some of the fun by not celebrating Christmas, we are very fulfilled with our traditions and the beliefs to which we adhere. If I was going to add something else in, I knew it would have to be real and lasting. Anything too magical or that I was going to have to back-track about later was simply out of the question. I want my kids to know that G-d is real and miracles are real--those are the messages of Chanukah.

That is also why we chose to use a mensch as opposed to a gnome or an elf. A mensch is not mythical or made-up. Mensches are simply good people. The "magic" of a mensch is that we all have the inherent capability to do good. Rather than spying on kids to see if they are good just to get presents, our mensch is actually going to be doing mitzvot (good deeds). My kids will find their mensch each day engaged in an activity with a note describing why a mensch would be doing that particular act. For instance, the night that we volunteer to play dreidel at a nursing home, the mensch will be found playing dreidel with barbies and a note that reads, "a mensch visits the elderly."
Read and download his tale here:

There are oodles of pictures of several mensches in action--just click the "Mensch on the Mantle" label to see them all!!!


Sarah said...

I love hearing about different religions traditions! This was so cute

Natasha said...

We are an interfaith family and while I like the idea (sort of) of Elf On The Shelf, one way we are maintaining clarity is to make Christmas about Jesus, not Santa Claus. Because if it's about Santa Claus then why can Jews celebrate, right?!?!

So I love this Mensch On The Mantle idea. I am so pinning this to use for next year. Thanks for sharing everything your mensch has been up to.

Our kids are still quite young (3 1/2 and 18 months) so our Chanukah celebrations have been a little low key. Tonight we're reading Chanukah stories and drinking hot chocolate!

Happy Fourth Night of Chanukah!

Jen said...

This is so awesome! Love it!

Karin said...

What a great idea! So cute. Happy Chanukah!