Almost every year, I write a Thanksgiving post for those who are alone, forgotten, left out. Or in family crisis because of the holiday. (You can read them all, from 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007.) This year Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall together, which is enough reason for hackles to rise. I for one, decided to defuse a hackle-raising conversation. I love both holidays.
Into my local huge grocery store I went, in search of Hanukkah candles. Couldn’t find any.
Customer service: “We won’t get them till December 10th”
Me: “That’s five days after Hanukkah is over.”
Customer Service: “Why do you people keep moving that holiday around anyway?”
Me: “For the same reason you people keep moving Easter around. Neither of those holidays is a fixed date, it’s set by a lunar calendar.”
Customer Service [gets on phone, talks, frowns, looks at me] “We aren’t carrying them this year. Last year, you people didn’t buy enough, so we aren’t going to carry them any more.”
Now I felt sad and dispirited. One of my worst feelings is one of being exiled into a forgotten corner because I’m not [fill in mainstream-related word here.] I thanked the customer service person, ignored the “you people” and drooped toward the exit. And then I had a thought–I could make this about lack and attack (the Inner Critic’s favorite emotions). Or I could find a way around it. We don’t have young kids who are scandalized in our household, and Cooking Man is Christian, so we celebrate anything that feels like fun.
Back I went, and picked up two packages of tea lights. At home, I placed them on an old family blue serving plate, cut rosemary from the hedge, placed it around the base of the tea lights and lit up.
Traditionally, you light one candle the first night, two the next, and so on. I decided to light all of the candles the first night, then one less each night. The night after the last Hanukkah candle burns out, we decorate for Christmas.
Because that’s how my people roll.
–Quinn McDonald loves celebrating almost anything.