Mitzvahs highlight another holiday season

Jewish people love tradition-even when the holiday isn’t one of our own, like Christmas. We share in the merriment of this widely celebrated Christian festival because it gives us an opportunity to do another mitzvah, not just see a movie and eat moo goo gai pan.

While we light our menorahs this year, we can share our light with many families who struggle to put food on their table and buy new winter coats and toys for their children this holiday season. Check out your temple Web site and bulletins to find out how your family can help make the holidays brighter for people throughout the community.


At Congregation Shaare Emeth, for example, many Hanukkah mitzvah projects are underway. Depending on your interest, volunteers are needed to wrap presents for residents of Children’s Home Society, make dinner at Family Haven Community in Partnership, sing Hanukkah songs and light the menorah for residents of Crown Center and Hallmark, deliver meals to the elderly at the Five Star Senior Center, serve Christmas breakfast for families at Ronald McDonald House, greet customers at Food Outreach, and help out the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry. Even if you can’t visit one of these locations, you can drop off donations of clothes, winter garments, bed linens, towels, blankets, and new, unwrapped toys at area temples and businesses.

To balance the tendency for youngsters to get a little greedy this time of year, parents can teach their children at an early age what the true spirit of giving is all about. In fact, children feel good about themselves when they spend some of their own money to buy a present on the wish list of someone who is less fortunate. Books, board games, school supplies, stuffed animals, pajamas, and gift cards make great surprises for kids of all ages.

Have a wonderful Hanukkah filled with lots of love and latkes!

“Mishegas of Motherhood” is the creation of Ellie S. Grossman, a St. Louis freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom who never stays home. The month of December makes her head spin like a dreidel. Feel free to send any comments to: [email protected] or visit her Web site at