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Monday, December 14, 2009

Come Light the Menorah

Here I am in the midst of the holiday season and I am remarkably feeling free of the usual holiday stress and guilt. This year I have decided that I don’t really give a hoot about all the decorations and ridiculous shopping that goes along with the season. I usually feel so much pressure about my home and gift shopping that I get a little of the bah humbug thing going.

My house looks good, not great, but I am not doing any more. The Christmas tree is up (yes, this Jewish girl puts up a tree) and a few years ago I created a “Hanukkah Bush”. I am quite proud of the way our family has always celebrated the holiday season. I love the Christmas tree and in our home it has no religious significance – kind of like our jack-o-lanterns on Halloween. Of course, I also believe in Santa Claus and can prove he exists.

One year my adorable three year old son told everyone he knew and many he didn’t that

“Santa is bringing me a Volcano Blaster!”

Everywhere we went he repeated this statement. Now, “Santa” was in quite a panic as it seemed this particular toy was completely unavailable. Hysterical trips to toy stores near and far and loads of phone calls produced nothing. “Santa” was distraught and was certain there was going to be one very disappointed three year old on Christmas morning. About 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a phone call was received saying that someone had just returned a brand new, unopened “Volcano Blaster. So, of course, “Santa” got right in his sleigh and drove many miles just to make this darling little boy’s wish come true. Ever since that year, I am certain that Santa exists.

Despite my love of Santa and the Christmas tree, I do sometimes get a bit cranky about the abundance of Christmas and the lack of acknowledgement that not everyone celebrates the same way. Last year, I was ordering food at a takeout restaurant in December and they had green rice crispie treats. I asked the takeout server why they were green as I thought they looked pretty disgusting. She looks at me in shock and rolled her eyes at me.

"It's Christmas!!"

“Oh, OK, do you have any blue ones?”

She had no idea what I was talking about and I called her on it. My long suffering husband apologized to her and explained that it was also Hanukkah and blue was a Hanukkah color. The poor girl still had no idea what he was talking about, but accepted his apology on my behalf.

This year, I plan to enjoy all of holidays - candles and tree lights, menorahs and wreaths, latkes and cookies, dreidels and jingle bells. My family will share its traditions with others and we hope you will share yours with us. May everyone have a joy filled season and take advantage of all the festivities that surround you. Senator Orrin Hatch wrote a new Hanukkah song this year and he is quite proud of it. If this man can appreciate other people’s holidays, than I believe anything is possible!!!!!