The Earth wasn’t destroyed yesterday, as “predicted” by the end of the Mayan calender. Though it was the end of school for 2012, as students and fellow staff members relish the 2 weeks we don’t have to deal with each other… I received gifts from my students ranging from gift certificates from Barns and Noble, Starbucks, and Banana Republic. Another student gifted me with a Pierre Cardin gift set, upon which I asked if that meant he thought I smelled, he just laughed. The day before, in photography class as we watched the original “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” the same student turned to me and asked if it was based on a true story, I responded, “not yet.”
My family is Jewish, so my brother, my sister, and I were raised to celebrate Hanukkah, but we also recognized and celebrated the joyfulness of Christmas.
When we were young, we would gather to light the candles on the menorah and as my dad lit each one, we would all say the following prayers:
Baruch atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, asher kiddeshanu b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu, lehadlik ner shel Hanukkah.
Blessed art thou, o’ lord our God, King of the Universe, who has commanded us to kindle the festival of lights
As soon as we finished saying “lights,” all three of us would then run to the couch and cover our eyes so my parents could go fetch our nightly gifts. They were pretty well hidden over the years, until the one time when I found them tucked under the back seats of my mom’s large station wagon. As we grew older, we would and still do, light the candles and say the prayer each night, though we only receive gifts on either the first or the last night, depending on the schedules of our extended family.
I mentioned above that we celebrated the joy of Christmas, we listened (still do) to Christmas songs, watched the specials on TV, and exchanged gifts on Christmas day with our neighbors. One of my favorite movies is the original, black and white version of “Miracle on 34th Street.” It’s kind of funny that my dad (in his “old age”) is now watching holiday movies on the Hallmark channel.
We would also put out cookies for Santa when we were younger, and would find them gone the next morning, with a note from Santa thanking us. There would also be presents as well. One year we (my brother, sister, and I) asked our parents if we could get a tree, as our neighbors had large ones. Our parents at first said no, but relented and we compromised and got a miniature one, with white frock all over. We got another one the following year, the same year we got our first cat, who proceed to “attack” the tree and left our living room covered with white frock, so that was the end of the trees…
I wish you all a great Holiday!!! For now, enjoy some of the holiday pictures I have come across on the internet over the years.
I’ll have another post later in the week for New Years, I have some winter cleaning to do first…
and a wish from yours truly: