1) My father used to come up with elaborate ways of calculating how much Chanukah gelt to send us. I remember one note when I was in college that had to do with a progression of how many latkes one should eat (doubling each night, if I recall correctly), accompanied by a recipe, and a check to cover the cost of the ingredients.
2) The candles I am using this year are beeswax. They appeared to be bigger than the standard boxed ones you get in the supermarket. But, at least based on one night, they burn faster. Since it is customary not to do housework while the candles are burning, I am not sure whether that is good or bad.