I've been hearing a lot about how this is the end of the decade lately. It's making many people nostalgic as they think back over the last ten years. Personally, I was clueless until yesterday. That just goes to show where my attention is these days. Rather than think about this decade or the next decade, I'd rather focus on most recent events. 2009 has been a year of mass changes for me. I tried my hand at writing young adult fiction, I bought my first condo/home, and I got engaged. It doesn't sound like all that much when I look at it...only three things really. But these are all fairly major accomplishments. Looking forward to the next year, I forsee changes continuing. I can't wait to see what happens next, but I'm fully enjoying the right here, right now. Happy New Year to you all
Labels: holidays, random musings
As I sit here at my future mother-in-law's house, amidst much Christmas excitement (I know, odd for a good, little Jewish girl), I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.It's been a very exciting week for me, and I'm still adjusting. What better way to do that than with forced relaxation and several good books? Right now I'm re-reading Nalini Singh's Mine to Possess in preparation of reading Hostage to Pleasure (I'm a little behind these days). I'm also getting to read the new hit in my classroom, The Lightening Thief. Winter Break is one of my favorite times of year because there's little time for me to get bored, but just enough time for me to recharge. So what are you reading right now? What books do you recommend I get for my Kindle? Inquiring minds want to know.
Labels: books, random musings
There are few things in life that overshadow all else. Usually these are the negative, but this week I'm choosing to focus on the positive.
- Winter Break...we all need a chance to recharge.
- Friends and family
- Someone who loves us above all else.
So here's smiling on all of you. I love sharing my thoughts with you, and I especially love hearing from you. What are some of your positives this week?
Labels: random musings
Chanukah and all that jazz...
I hope you all were able to come join me over at Emily Bryan's blog last Friday. Emily invited me over to share a little of my Chanukah traditions, as well as a recipe. If you didn't get a chance, you can visit here.
A few of the readers followed up with some questions about Chanukah, and I thought I'd take this week's blog to answer them. Please remember that I am NOT the spokeswoman for all things Jewish. Some families have different traditions and beliefs. Everything that follows here is my understanding, and there may be some inaccuracies.
First off, both spellings are correct. You can spell it Chanukah (which is translated from the Hebrew letters used to spell the word) or Hannukkah. I promise, you won't offend me if you use one over the other. My guess is that the second spelling comes more from American traditions, where the "ch" sound is unproducable by over half the country (see The Boy).
Second, despite common misconceptions, Chanukah is a minor holiday. It has become bigger mostly due to the proximity to Christmas. In short, it's the celebration of a miracle that occured after the Maccabee's defeated the Seleucid Empire. The Seleucid Empire had desecrated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. After battling, and eventually defeating the Empire, the Maccabees set off to re-consecrate the temple. The oil used to light the lamps was only supposed to last a day, and it last eight. This is why we celebrate Chanukah for 8 nights and 8 days. With that said, it is still considered fairly minor when compared with most of our other Holy Days, such as Rosh Hashanah.
Third, the gifts. This one is very dependent on the family. I do not remember ever receiving one gift a night for 8 nights. I wouldn't have made it that long. If you ask the Boy, he'll vouch for me. I'm horrible at waiting. Heck, if my parents didn't insist, half my presents were opened the week before. Traditionally, small amounts of Chanukah gelt, money, were given to children for Chanukah. Over time this has changed greatly. My opinion is that this tradition has changed due to Christmas and social pressure...but that's just my two cents. Typically my family does small gifts all around, but then again, that's just us.
I hope this gives you a little better idea about Chanukah. Feel free to ask questions, I promise I'll do my best to answer. And if I don't have the answer? Well, I'll try to find it for you.