Friday, December 11, 2009

Illuminate the Candles

Just sitting here watching the sun sink into Puget Sound, and I'm thinking about Hanukkah... wondering what all this still means to me, if anything. Of course, I believe in G-d. I'm more spiritually connected now than I've been in my entire life. And I'm grateful for that. I'm just not sure if I believe in religion anymore.

I'd like my daughter to experience the holiday traditions I grew up with (Lutheran), as well as the ones I chose as an adult (Jewish). Traditions, rituals, decorations, food, love, and most of all family... they all go hand in hand. That's not a bad thing to celebrate, right?

I will totally miss stopping at my brother's this year on Xmas morning. The kids ripping through presents. Mom & dad sitting on the couch watching it all unfold. Bri wearing khaki shorts & maybe some slippers (more likely flip flops). Elicia serving piping hot coffee w/ vanilla creamer and chatting with her over sausages on the stove. Maybe a fire going in the fireplace, even if it isn't cold (which it rarely is in Southern CA), just b/c it seems like the right thing to do on Christmas morning.

I'll miss stopping in at my best friend's on Xmas Eve. And having dinner at my childhood friends on Christmas afternoon. I'll miss lighting the Hanukkah candles at mom & dad's old house, that isn't ours anymore, in a neighborhood that isn't mine anymore either. I'll miss waving to the neighbors, exchanging cookies & cards w/ them, seeing their kids and grandkids running around the block on new bikes and skateboards.

It doesn't have to be a melancholy time, the holidays. I have so much to be grateful for. I love my new house, my new neighborhood is chock full of awesome people who will help create similar childhood memories for my daughter, I can have a tree AND a menorah if I want, I've put up lights around the eaves, it's cold, and hells bells, it MAY even snow! I can have the exact experience I desire, to the level at which I'm willing to participate. Some days I'm just not sure how much I want to participate. That's where I'm feeling stuck I guess.

But... tonight, I'll light the candles. And I'll think of those I love. That's the best I can do for today. It's enough, yo.