Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Hannukah! Day 8

Sad to see this beautiful holiday draw to a close but happy I can go to bed earlier tomorrow! Here's the full menorah shot.

You can't even tell one candle from the next, its just a ball of light. I love it.

I also want to show you this photo, which I took on Christmas Eve. Its so beautiful to me to see my menorah nestled between all the Christmas decorations. Its like a metaphor for coexistence. And maybe a sign of hope for my future half-breed children. I like it.

And now for your final Hannukah factoid (until next year, anyways):

Q: Are you supposed to get gifts on Hannukah?
A: No, this is not a traditionally gift giving holiday. In fact, Jews don't really have a traditional gift giving holiday, but do believe in birthday presents. And Bar Mitzvah presents! There are a few stories related to Hannukah about giving money as a gift including:
1. You should light a candle to commemorate the miracle, even if you have to beg for the money. Therefore in older times, beggars would go door to door in the community collecting money.
2. Gelt (money) used for playing of dreidel factors into the Hannukah story.

That said, we usually did get 8 crazy nights of presents for Hannukah- usually a check or gift from each set of grandparents and one from my great grandmother, then my siblings and I would sometimes buy little gifts for each other, and my parents would fill out the rest. The majority would all be wrapped and sitting out the first night, and we would choose and open one each night. Oh the suspense of a table full of presents- which one would you pick? Which one contained that thing that you wanted to use right now and which contained the calendar that you couldn't use for 3 weeks anyways? Sometimes my parents would give us hints (like if it was a live animal and they had wrapped the cage, or something we had specifically asked for and they felt nice) and sometimes they would watch us squirm.
Christmas was a fun experience for me... getting to open a whole bunch of presents at once, not picking and choosing and waiting.  Fun!

Here's a fun Hannukah video for you. I like it much better than Adam Sandler's Hannukah song. Super catchy! Apparently it came out last year but I just heard it for the first time on the radio yesterday. I'm slow. Matisyahu, btw, was the leader of the Jewish revolution against the Greeks that kicks off the Hannukah story. So that's cool, too.

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