Monday, December 11, 2017

Happy Chanukah!

Tomorrow night is the start of Chanukah and this year is going to be a very different type of celebration.

To start with, the Princess will still be in school for most of it, so we won’t get to celebrate with her until the last two nights of the holiday. I picked out and wrapped her presents, as well as included an electric menorah for her to light in her room. I mailed her the ones she can open at school. And we hope she’ll be able to call or FaceTime us while she does it, even though she’s in the middle of finals. But it won’t be the same.

Chanukah’s not a big holiday, and even though it falls around Christmas usually, it’s NOT a Jewish version of Christmas. But it is a holiday and I like to gather my family around during that time. Short of a very select few things that absolutely can’t be skipped, everyone is expected to be at home, together, while we light the candles. That often means they leave afterwards, but for that half hour each evening, we are together.

It also means most of the traditions will fall on Banana Girl—putting up the window clings, lighting the electric window menorah (which I have never liked), and making gelt. The presents have been sitting out, wrapped, since I started purchasing them—I was very organized this year, which even surprised me—and there’s only been some of the interest level in them, probably because we’re missing a child. Although Banana Girl did show concern when she counted and didn’t see enough presents for the entire holiday (that’s because some of the orders haven’t come in yet, despite my best intentions).

We’ll be FaceTiming the grandparents in for the first time, and I’ll be introducing a whole additional group to the joys of fried Oreos. This year, the family Chanukah party is at my house. I still haven’t quite perfected the food pairings that go with fried Oreos, but I suspect no one will care. And I think even my husband got a little carried away with the amount of Oreos needed this season.

So, like everything else in this year of change, things will be different. And while I hate change, I have to admit that it’s been fun trying to figure out new traditions and balancing the old ones.

To all those who celebrate, wishing you a very Happy Chanukah!