Hanukkah food & gifts | Checklist for Festival of Lights

Are you ready for Hanukkah? Have you cleaned the menorah? Got your candles? And almost as important, are you stocked up on potatoes and other holiday staples?

The eight-day holiday begins at sundown on Dec. 16 this year and runs through Dec. 24.

After reciting the blessings (don’t forget the special one on the first night), it’s time to light the menorah. Begin at the far right and add subsequent candles accordingly.

However, each night, light the newest candle first, from left to right. And always light the shamash — the “attendant” candle at the center of your menorah — first and use it to light the others.

A tip: Use dripless candles. They are widely available and will save you a lot of time and effort that otherwise will go into cleaning up the waxy mess left on and underneath your menorah.