Dec 5 2013
Since the last night of Hanukkah was last night, today is technically the 8th day of Hanukkah. Here are my top 10 photos of my Hanukkah, including some highlights from Thanksgiving, which coincided with Hanukkah this year.
1. As I discussed here last week, my parents hosted Thanksgivukkah dinner. Here is the name card that was at my seat at the table. Note the Jewish star name card holder and the Thanksgiving and Hanukkah stickers adorning it. It should be noted that there were only six of us at dinner, but I think it’s kind of adorable that my mother insists on making name cards just the same.
2. Here is my mother’s perfect fusion of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah: a Hanukkah placemat with Thanksgiving paper plates and napkins.
3. Ditto. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 2 2013
A still from the video of the Maccabeat’s cover of Matisyahu’s “Miracle.”
Since Hanukkah fell on Thanksgiving this year–or did Thanksgiving fall on Hanukkah rather!?–I wanted to share eight things I am thankful for so far this Hanukkah. Context: I just got back from the weekend with my ex and our sons at my ex’s mom’s house. All of us together. In one house. For three nights. Cozy wozy, indeed.
1. I am grateful that my ex and I communicate so well, even when it’s hard. We planned the gifts, the travel, the meals; everything together.
2. In my dreams I would do a “No-Gifts” Hanukkah, but in reality, the ex and I made modest choices that suited both of us not perfectly, but reasonably. We chose medium and small gifts our boys truly have been wanting and will hopefully enjoy for a long time.
3. I love celebrating Hanukkah with my ex’s mom who converted to Judaism from Mormonism about six years ago. She is such an inquisitive Jew, and she studies more Torah and Talmud than most Jews from any denomination that I know. She makes a mean latke and even buys vegan sour cream for me to smear on mine. And she doesn’t even complain about how every Jewish food is destined to make us all fat, and her kitchen stove top all greasy. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 25 2013
To watch the booty swatting scene from “A Drunken Thanksgiving,” click here.
1. In the original draft of the script, there was no booty swatting. I can’t remember exactly what was in its place. It was some other awkward/inappropriate drunk Sheldon comment to Amy, but the swatting was added a few days into rehearsal.
2. This is not the first time that Sheldon has smacked Amy’s bum and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. The first and most memorable time was in the “Amy’s Sick” episode. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 14 2013
I’m not always the best daughter. Sometimes I’m impatient, short-tempered, bossy, and annoyed with my mother. I work hard to promptly apologize to my mother when I’ve not behaved nicely but I admit that I don’t always do that perfectly either. I may be able to make up for every prickly thing I’ve ever said or done to my mother with this post, because I would like to talk about how she prepares for holidays such as Thanksgivukkah, which happens in a few weeks.
My mom is a great cook. Her Hungarian mother was also a great cook and I bet my grandmother’s mother was a good cook too, and so on, all the way back. My mother specializes in all kinds of food but her presentation, her attention to detail, and the joy with which she cooks and serves food are also noteworthy.
Since I had my first son eight years ago, my mother has started the mini-tradition of writing up menus before holidays. This serves a dual purpose. She is a Type A list-maker and, thus, making menus satisfies her list making needs. Secondly, she likes me to consult about the menu, make changes as needed, and select which items I will be helping with. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 12 2013
This year, for the last time until about 80,000 years from now, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. Thanksgivingfully (hahaha), Hanukkah goes on for eight nights but Thanksgiving is only one. This means that for those of us who value the religious, spiritual, and cultural significance of Hanukkah, it won’t be completely engulfed by Thanksgiving. We’ll have seven more nights to sing Maoz Tsur and spin the dreidel.
However, for those of us with children raised in a day and age when Hanukkah has become synonymous with gift-giving, this coincidence becomes a problematic one. Case in point: my 5-year-old seems to think that Thanksgiving is a gift-giving holiday since he has heard that Hanukkah falls on the same day. I keep telling him it’s Hanukkah that he thinks of as a gift-giving holiday, and he looks at me like I’m insane. In his little brain, they are on the same day, and he therefore expects gifts on Thanksgiving. Hence, it’s a gift holiday. Sigh.
Why do I have a problem with my son associating Hanukkah with gift-giving? The first reason is that historically it hasn’t been associated with gifts, both in the greater Jewish population and in my family in particular. When I was growing up, my parents typically gave me new pajamas, a new wall calendar, and some collection of stationery items (pencils, note cards, erasers) as gifts. I always got at least one new dreidel for my dreidel collection. And of course, chocolate Hanukkah gelt. There may have been some years when I received a toy but my immediate association with Hanukkah when it comes to the notion of gift-giving is one of small gifts that were primarily functional and generally elicited eye-rolls and complaining from me because I thought all of that stuff was lame.
Except the Winnie the Pooh PJs I got when I was about 8. Those were awesome. Read the rest of this entry →