Hanukkah starts in less than a month, people.

Those of you who have followed my writing over the years know that I have struggled mightily with this holiday and how to make it meaningful and fun for everyone in the family. Three years ago, I wrote a post about not giving gifts, and then I did a 180 and over the next two years I wrotethis piece and this one about showering my girls with plastic princesses, among other things.

I won’t lie. I love giving my daughters the gifts they want. I love watching the joy on their faces and the fun they have playing with their toys, and I love remembering how much I enjoyed getting new presents each year. Yet somehow the gift giving always feels a bit disconnected from the candles, the blessings, and even the dreidel spinning.

And now I’m doing the Jewish Mother Project, and I want to find out how to integrate these two aspects of our Hanukkah observance. I want to bring more meaning, generosity, and balance to our eight crazy nights. At the risk of sounding a bit hokey, I want the presents and the presence.

You can read the rest of this post for The Jewish Mother Project on Kveller.com.