Hanukkah at Our House - Night 1

If you click on the link above, it will take you to the latest Jewlarious Hanukkah film. I am of two minds about this film - on the one hand, having grown up Jewish in the Bible belt, I can really identify with poor Mordecai. On the other hand, the film doesn't exactly promote good relations among religions. On the third hand, why should Jews always be the understanding ones . . . . (Being Jewish, I get to have three hands/see three sides to every issue.)

What do you think?

We make a big deal about Hanukkah at our house, particularly the first and last nights, but all the nights are special. The three kids & I spent a good portion of today cleaning and preparing the house, and R came home early (though he didn't make it in time for sundown, thanks to the hour-long commute and a stop along the way to buy traps for the colony of mice . . . more on that, later). We made mountains of latkes, and when everyone was home and ready, we lit the menorahs.

We gave the kids their presents before candle-lighting this evening. N had told me last week that she felt she needed a new, bigger menorah. C has my menorah, Z has my brother Nick's menorah, and N has my brother Jason's menorah. It just so happens that C's is largest, Z's is middle-sized and N's is smallest (hey, Mom & Dad, did you do that on purpose when we were small?). N opined that now that she is bigger (7 years old), she needed a menorah befitting her size, even though her rank is unchanged.

I'd seen a lovely glass menorah made up of separate blocks that can be configured in all sorts of ways, and had planned to get it for myself, but I got it for N instead. It isn't exactly large, but being able to rearrange it constantly seemed appropriate to her personality, and she loves it. I also found a tiny one that takes birthday cake candles, and got that one for Z, who was enchanted by it and said "Ooooh, I'll take it to college with me next year!" Well, I suppose she can take it to her dorm room, but she won't be allowed to put candles in it. Ah, well.

C said he really only needs one menorah, so we gave him the latest season of "Smallville" instead, and he was really pleased with that.

Then we lit up the five menorahs (I don't put candles in my menorah any more, not since the year I discovered that it was flammable - it caught on fire!) and ate about 3/4 of the latkes (we deliberately make extras). A word about my latkes: I bake them, because I don't like fried foods. So they're weird, but they're healthy. We spent more than an hour over dinner, just enjoying each other - and with all the cooking, the dining area of the house was pretty warm!

At bedtime, I read N a new Hanukkah book: Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story. I recommend it highly, particularly as a POINTED gift to anyone who thinks that Hanukkah is "the Jewish Christmas." N wants to take it to school tomorrow so she can see if her teacher will read it to the class.

We decided not to light our outdoor menorah this evening - it's just too windy, and I was afraid the jars would blow over & break. Perhaps tomorrow night. When we do it, I'll take a picture and post it, along with a picture of the new menorahs. They're more interesting to photograph when there are more candles in them, anyway.

News bulletin: R has come upstairs to announce that he thinks he's gotten the furnace working! Keep your fingers crossed!

Mice: last night, C & I were watching a movie when I heard a noise in the ceiling. Looking up, I saw FOUR large mice (at least, I hope they were mice - if they were rats, they were small ones) skitter across the light panel. C said, "Oh those are just the mice."

What do you mean, the mice?

"There've been mice up in the ceiling since the summer."

Why didn't you say something earlier?!?!?

"We thought you knew about them."


"Z, N & me."

When I mentioned this to Z, she said, "Oh, yes, and this morning when I opened my closet, a mouse ran out of my knitting bag. I should have guessed that would be a place mice would like - a nice, cozy nesting material!"

How long have you had mice in your closet?

"Since last Halloween. It's a problem that I never eat my Halloween or Easter candy. Should I maybe keep it in the kitchen?"

You mean, Halloween 2006?!?!?!

"You think it's getting too old?"

Well, apparently the mice don't mind.


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