Two more readers chimed in:
I'll light the candles and say the blessings. My husband isn't Jewish, but he is comfortable with us celebrating Hanukkah. We don't get into spinning the dreidel.
We'll have latkes as part of the Thanksgiving meal, or eat them the first evening of H. To be honesty, I don't like them very much, except the ones my teacher Garry makes. I am going to his H. party Sunday, December 1, if BART doesn't strike, and I will eat them plenty.
My advice is to relax about holidays, although I myself sometimes find them stressful. I like H. though. It is very peaceful. It does have an element of gratitude to it, as well as hope.
Although I didn’t formally convert until I was living in San Francisco, when I was still living in NYC, I practiced and observed (even quietly self-identified) as a Jew (up to a point; for example, I didn’t lay tefillin or don a tallit, as such positive mitzvot are reserved for Jews).
My significant other was already in the Bay Area and, although I was surrounded by many Jewish friends in NYC, not a one of them celebrated Hanukkah or in any other way identified with religious practice (the “cultural not religious” mode). Thus, Hanukkah was generally celebrated solo.
I lit the candles, said the blessings, and attempted to make tasty latkes. All of these attempts were earnest and I found them fulfilling in their way. That said, even for someone like me, who typically prefers a good book and a cup of hot cocoa over a party, I found Hanukkah came into its own (in my Jewish world) only when I was able to celebrate with others. At its root, Hanukkah is another of the winter solstice celebrations found across so many cultural and religious traditions. During the Festival of Lights, we light the candles to push back the encroaching darkness and relative cold. I think it’s most soulful when we do so in the company of friends and family.