Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Light in the Dark

If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know we love to celebrate Jewish holidays mixed in with our Christian ones. If you want, you can read more about what we do here and here and here.

I am super busy this week, getting ready for Elaine's 5th birthday weekend, but I have still wanted to get our Hanukkah celebration in here. We missed the first night, and then Darren was going from Thursday through Saturday, so I decided we'd do it the final night.

We also prepared by reading some Hanukkah books--this was a fun one that Elaine loved. If it has animals, she's all over it. She likes animals better than people. Many days I can't argue with that sentiment either.

This is cute, by Stephen Kroll.
This next one is excellent. I'm sorry the cover art isn't coming out better, but it is titled The Christmas Menorahs by Janice Kohn.

It is based on a true story that happened in 1994 in Billings, Montana. Some white supremacist groups were harassing various people groups there, including throwing rocks through windows that had menorahs in them. This book in particular is about a young boy named Isaac who got a rock through his bedroom window. The story also contains some great history about Hanukkah and also how Danish Christians helped Jews during WWII.

The girls and I had some good talks about what it would feel like if someone threw a rock through our window, just because we had a Christmas tree or what it would be like to go to our church and see our nativity scene trashed and ugly words spray painted on the side of the building. That really brought the reality of it to them. Then I told them that these things didn't just happen in the past, that last year, someone painted hateful things on the Jewish synagogue on our very street.

The books ends with what some churches and citizens in Billings did to resist hate in their city, and I encourage you to have some Kleenex nearby while you read.

Then last night, we had our Hanukkah dinner--roast chicken and latkes. Those latkes did not stay on the platter very long, and Lucy asked for the leftover two in her lunch today. While we ate, we listened to the audio version of "Festival of Lights" from More All-of-a-Kind Family.

When we first started this last year, I wanted to make an even bigger deal out of this night--invite friends over, play dreidl games, etc., but it is really hard to cram one more big thing into December! Maybe someday though. This year I just enjoyed the moments of quiet and light with our little family.

Happy Hanukkah from us to you!

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Happy Hanukkah to you guys too! Loved this post! Love them all but you know that! I saw a book in Cole's Scholastic catalog called, TOO MANY LATKES, that looks really funny. Maybe you can track it down for next year! Have fun with the birthday plans! I cannot believe our December babies are turning five! That reminds me - I've got to get some party favors! Yikes!