Sunday, December 16, 2007
...Or Merry Christukah! However you want to slice it, we've got the holidays going on here in good fashion.
This will be the first year I have spent away from my friends and family in MN over the holidays. To compensate for this in-compensate-able gap in December merry-making, we've turned Helen into a beacon of Christmas and Hannukah cheer.
We had planned to get a full REAL tree this year, but considering biking our way through a tree lot and dodging bullet-like crowds on the Kalverstraat, we thought the peace might be better kept if we blew the dust off of our 2-foot tall artificial and kept it simple.
(As a side note, I learned of a nursery in Haarlem that offers Christmas tree RENTALS. The trees come in pots and are recycled year after year. No heartbreaking trips to the trash with your beloved holiday treasure. I don't know if this is becoming a trend in the US, but it really seems like a great idea. Maybe next year.)
Hannukah came earlier in the month, and we lit the menorah every night on schedule after starting one day late (D travelled right in the middle of those eight nights, so we got a little off track) - and having yet to light the last one (seems so final...we keep putting it off).
D said a prayer and sang a song in Hebrew the first night or two, and after that we added a totally goy-accessible feature to our ritual. Every night, we (or I, if D was out of town) listened to music by different Jewish composers each night (kicking off with Adam Sandler's famous Hannukah Song, ramping up to Rodgers and Hammerstein, Sid Robinovitch, Gershwin, Irving Berlin, and Lerner and Lowe).
(Needless to say, Hannukah could last a few years straight and we couldn't get to all of the fabulous Jewish composers in history. But nice to start somewhere.)
Our tree is as sweet as ever. Sitting on our dining table, it has a constant view of the canal, watching the world go by morning, noon and night. Brenda gave me a table runner as a wedding shower gift that is a perfect tree skirt. And for a little tree, it's boasting quite a few ornaments, including the plastic keyboardist that mom bought for me years ago and the (ahem) star of "David" that I bought last year at Macy's.
With great sincerity, I wish this blog entry was accompanied by real live hugs and laughter and sugar cookies with you in the US, but in the warmest electronic kind of way, we want to wish you and your families a wonderful holiday season and a fabulous 2008.
Lynn, Dave and #5