So, not that it would have been all that big a deal when I was a kid, but never in my life have Christmas and the first night of Hanukkah both happened on the same day. It wouldn’t have made much difference when I was growing up since Hanukkah was a 1-hour long endeavor at night (albeit for 8 days), while Christmas effectively shut down the world and your friends were busy the whole day. I mean, I wasn’t even allowed to call them. My Aunt Brenda (whose birthday is Dec 26) always said it was like the world was having a big party and we weren’t invited.
The anticipation of each holiday, for kids, is pretty much the same thing. If you celebrate Christmas, you probably looked forward to your parents finally getting their butts out of bed before 9am so you could roll around in ecstasy on a floor covered with the detritus of hours of unwrapping Toys-R-Us in your living room. If you celebrate Hanukkah, you couldn’t believe your luck when, year after year, you got presents for EIGHT DAYS STRAIGHT. Who cared if it was “only one present per night.” It was EIGHT DAYS IN A ROW of presents! But still, we were all living in the salad days of presents and our anticipation was palpable and shared.
So this year a very very large percentage of the children in this country have been anticipating today more than any other day of the year, including their birthday. All together! Jews and Christians unite! Quelle commonality! What a fabulous day!
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday — however you celebrated it and no matter how old you are. I hope you were surrounded by people who love you and whom you love. I hope you ate good food or got the day off from cooking. I hope the gifts you gave made you feel as wonderful as the gifts you received.
And I thank all of you who have celebrated Christmas all your life for inviting us to your December 25th party this year. It was a lot of fun!