Once again I must apologize for being out of touch for so long. It’s Hanukkah you see and I’m all about the Jewish holidays. I think a lot of Jews are too quick to dismiss Hanukkah as a minor holiday. It's really not. Yes, the events celebrated are post biblical, but so what? One of the things I love about Judaism is that it’s a continually evolving religion.
Anyway our house is decorated with Happy Hanukkah banners, Stars of David, candle menorahs as well as electric ones, strategically placed dreidel-holding stuffed animals and so on. I’ve made latkes every night this week and more than my fair share of blintzes, ruggelah, Hanukkah cookies and so on (the jelly doughnuts I bought…I’m only willing to take the Yiddish Martha Stewart routine so far). We’ve had family and friends over every night this week (both Jewish and non-Jewish alike) to help us celebrate the holiday. See this is why I don’t celebrate Kwanza; I already have my hands full with another multi-day celebration. Of course I could do a little something for Kwanza without going all out but that would require moderation and moderation is a concept that I’ve never been able to fully grasp. If I really want something (like say...a writing career) I dedicate myself to the quest of obtaining it and don’t stop until I succeed. If I kind of want something, like say…a clean house, I’ll occasionally toy with the idea of picking up a broom but I’ll rarely be motivated enough to actually do it.
But, as you probably surmised, celebrating Hanukkah is on my “really-want-to” list. I want to provide my son with holiday memories that will last a lifetime. I also want to give something special to those who come into my home to celebrate with us (and I’m not just talking about the gift I hand them). If our guests are Jewish I want them to feel a sense of community and if they have been dismissing Hanukkah as some kind of wannabe Christmas I want to show them what it can really be: a time of joy and laughter, an opportunity to bring both spiritual and physical light to the darkest days of winter. If they’re non-Jewish I want to give them a glimpse of my culture and traditions and I hope that I am able to give them a little of the warmth that I get when I see one of their beautiful Christmas trees or hear a particularly lovely carol.
It’s the least I can do for the people who brought about the invention of the eggnog latte.
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