Monday, December 19, 2011

Early Hanukkah

Yesterday my husband's family gathered for their annual giant Hanukkah party extravaganza. On the car ride back from the latke and present fest, Ethan asked his Dad when it started and he calculated that it had been going on since about 1943 or so. Coming from a tiny family like I do, it's nice to be a part of a giant, sprawling, warm, inclusive clan.

Leaving my first ever of these, when Dan and I had been dating for about six months and I was still his "new girlfriend," I told him, "I've never been hugged and kissed by so many people I just met in my life."

In my husband's family, if you love one of them, they love you. It's nice. Exhausting, but nice. (Not a year passes without at least one - and often more - Bar Mitzvah, wedding, landmark birthday or anniversary, and, unfortunately funeral or unveiling. Lots of opportunity for togetherness.)

This year the Sunday that is also Hanukkah just happens to fall on Christmas, and the one after that on New Year's Day, so the party was held a week early.

We brought my mother, of course, who, because of her poor short term memory recognizes nearly no one, but is happy to be out in the swirl of family, with her own grandsons and lots of random (to her) toddlers and babies to boot.

Jacob actually yelled "Happy Hanukkah!" to everyone this year instead of "Merry Christmas!" which he used to be wont to do, as there is so much more of that in the world around him to catch his echolalic attention.

Ethan again asked to be the one to light our family menorah, and this year I finally said yes.

Saying prayers
Jake and my Mom watching
Ethan, lighting the candles
"Real" Hanukkah begins this Tuesday at sundown. But Sunday we got a little sneak preview; an all too rare family outing; a lot of hugs and kisses. A happy togetherness.

Wishing you all Happy Holidays and good times with your families (or without them if they're on the torturesome side)!

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