Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah

Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah
Come light the menorah
Let’s have a party
We’ll all dance the hora
Gather ’round the table
We’ll give you a treat
Shiny tops to play with and laktes to eat…

It’s Hanukkah. Last night, my husband was out of town on business. My children were absorbed in their lives in Chicago. My brother posted a picture on Facebook of himself and his entire brood lighting the candles together in New York. My youngest sister made sufganiyot (a type of jelly donut) and celebrated with her family in Israel. My parents enjoyed the joyful exuberance of their great grandchildren who are visiting with them in Florida. But I…I lit my candles and sang the blessings all alone. Pathetic. A true first for me.

And while we are playing
The candles are burning low
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago
One for each night, they shed a sweet light
To remind us of days long ago.

*     *     *

It was time to put up the Christmas tree at the marketing firm that employs my daughter. Her senior manager, who knows that she is Jewish (she’s the only Jew in the office), asked if she ever had a tree at home. She said, “No, but I always wanted to decorate one with ornaments and lights.” So, he put her in charge of putting up the company’s tree this year.

She happily trotted off to Ace Hardware with two colleagues to pick out a tree. For practical purposes, an artificial one was chosen (it certainly looked real enough for my daughter!); the biggest one they could find. Armed with lights, a “tree topper ribbon thing” (to quote her), and much enthusiasm, they headed back to the office where my daughter set about putting it all together. She systematically assembled the tree, strung the lights, and added the ribbon. She even hung some “smelly things” to give the tree a real pine-tree-like fragrance. (Ha, ha, ha…I’m hysterical here….) My daughter’s immediate supervisor brought in some ornaments to serve as final touches.

My sweet girl summed up, as she shared this entire tale with me, “So, I hung them all and it’s my tree!”

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Bravo, Honey. I hope they’re all proud of your first-ever effort. Maybe next year you can get a big menorah for the office, bring in some latkes, and light the candles…But for now, regardless of religious preferences, I hope everyone has a chance to sing, dance, eat, laugh, and celebrate with family and friends this holiday season.

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