A common explanation is that we eat latkes (potato pancakes) because they are cooked in oil and this remind us of the miracle that a single cruse of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.
“We kindle these lights to commemorate the miracles and the wonders”
הנרות הללו אנו מדליקין על הניסים והנפלאות
I am, and have always been, Jewish, but I was raised in a household with a father who was secularly Christian. We “celebrated” Christmas and Easter, but never went to church. We put up a tree but did not speak of Jesus. We colored eggs but did not discuss resurrections.