Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel!
We have several, small wooden dreidels that are impossible to tell apart. However, one of the dreidels is rigged and constantly falls on Gimel. We never know who has it until we are halfway through the game. Every year we say we will get rid of that dreidel and by the 8th night of Hanukkah, we have forgotten which dreidel it is and it gets packed away to wipe out the “pot” again, year after year. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure my kids love it, hoping they will be the lucky recipient.
At Life is Sweet, we love to hear stories about people’s traditions and holidays, as candy often plays a part in their memories. Life is Sweet is here and ready to help you share your memories and traditions with your families this holiday season. Dreidel is a great family game because age doesn’t factor in to winning or losing, whether you celebrate the Festival of Lights or not! However, people seem to remain confused as to how to play, so Life is Sweet has created this dreidel primer for you to follow.
Dreidel or dreidels (You can play with one and pass it, or each person can have their own. Beware the weighted dreidel!)
Candy (for betting) We’d like to suggest small pieces of candy for betting and snacking. It’s a good idea to start with approximately 15 pieces of candy for each round. At Life is Sweet we have gelt, traditional chocolate coins wrapped in foil. You can also use M & M’s, spree, jelly beans or licorice bites. A truly fun idea is to buy each player a different candy and let them bet with it. It makes winning so much sweeter!
The dreidel has 4 sides marked “Nun”, “Shin”, “Hay” and “Gimel”, each a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. If you spin Nun, do nothing-play continues to the next player. Shin means share and that player should put 1 piece of candy in the pot. Hay is half and the dreidel spinner gets half of the pot, and Gimel is the jackpot, with the player getting the whole pot.
Now that you understand the symbols on the dreidel, it’s time to begin.
Sometimes dreidel goes fast! Play again.
Nun, shin, hay and gimel are the first letters of each word of the phrase “Nes gadol hayah sham” which translated means “A great miracle happened there”. Here at Life is Sweet, we find any opportunity to share family traditions, fun, and candy seem pretty miraculous and wish you a magical holiday season!
Life is short…make it sweet!