What a great, great day... and week...
Admittedly, like every week, it had it's ups and downs. But, since it is very late, and I am very tired, I am going to try to limit my rambling and write this post in an eight-point list, one for each day of Hannukah. (That does not necessarily mean that each point will correlate with events from the same-numbered day! Just warnin' ya.)
1. A brief explanation: Jason and I decided to stop celebrating Christmas in 2003, after being shown a video that had much of the same information as this article
. (Thank you to my cousin Alex for bringing the article to my attention.) I highly recommend that if you only have time to either a) read the rest of this blog post or b) read the article, pick B. Trust me, I won't be offended. (Plus, B is much more likely to have a lasting impact on your life than the next 7 points I'm going to expound on at this late hour.)
Since that time, we have not really "celebrated" anything at this time of year. And, contrary to what some people may think, our kids are not emotionally scarred by growing up knowing that not only does Santa Claus not exist, but that Jesus was not born on December 25th, and this time of year is not about getting whatever we ask and beg and plead for, and that Mommy and Daddy won't lie to them, even for fun. Our Decembers have passed nearly stress-free while we watch the buying frenzy over a quiet cup of hot chocolate from corner coffee stands in the mall, and perhaps scoop up an after-Christmas deal on the yearly board game we buy for our family's trove, or Noah's birthday in February. Our wallets are not any more pinched in January than any other month (especially now that we are not paying the heating bills for our drafty "ex"-house in forty below weather), and we feel much more at liberty to bless friends and family with gifts at any time of the year we pleased, instead of playing the "political gift-giving" game every December.
However, over time we have had a growing interest in the Judaic roots of our faith--the "root" of the tree to which we, as Gentiles, are grafted into. While Hannukah is not one of the 7 major feasts on the Jewish Calendar, we thought this would be as good a time as any to start learning more about it. Thus, we celebrated our first Hannukah this year, replete with gelt
, and Spin the Dreidel, and lots and lots of latkes. Yum!
2. I love holidays. And by "holidays," I mean "days off," of course. Even if it means that I just get to work in a different way, I have been enjoying my fair share of relaxing, too. Plus, I mended at least 7 items on the pile, including a favourite red sweater of mine that needed the zipper replaced for at least a year.
3. Red is my favourite colour. For years, I've been saying I have no favourite colour, but when I look into my closet and realize that I reach for red more often than anything else, and love
just adding a hint of red to whatever I'm wearing (or scrapbooking!), I have to admit that yes, I do
have a favourite colour. And that's okay!
4. I promised myself I would not gloat to folks back home about the weather here when we moved, because I remember how I would feel when my mother would call me on Christmas Day and brag about the fact that she was wearing shorts, while I had to put on at least fifteen layers to cross the street and get the mail. SO! I just want to clarify that this is not a brag--this is a recording for posterity. (This is my
journal, after all.) Today, for church, I wore what many would consider a "summer" cotton dress. I wore tights, and calf-high leather boots, and a longish sweater, and a scarf. That's it. December 28th. It was awesome
5. The reason I needed to record that for posterity is that it is nearly official that our sojourn to warmer temperatures has a soon-coming end. With the economic slowdown, it looks like we will be heading north by spring. (Hopefully not before, as moving to Alberta at the end of January is definitely NOT our idea of a good time!) God could work a miracle, and January could be amazing
, but statistically-speaking, that is not likely to happen. So. That's that. Needless to say, we have mixed feelings about it all. You'll probably get to hear lots more about those in future posts, so I won't keep on about it right now.
6. Wowee, have I been doing a lot of cooking this week. We had a planned Hannukah party tonight, to which we invited our pastors Victor and Susan and their kids, and the youth pastor Adam and his wife Alicia
and their kids. That was really, really fun, and we had a blast getting to know them a little bit better. Of course, there was lots of food, with latkes being an integral part of the menu! (A latke
is a cake fried in oil. Tonight's were potato and apple latkes with home-made applesauce. Yum!)
However, one of the families I invited were not able to come tonight, so at the last minute we had them on Friday night instead. They are a wonderful couple named Gerald and Bonnie Nipp. We met them because they run an organic chicken and egg operation, and we tracked them down on the internet. Without going into too much detail, I just want to say that I love these people in an inexplicable, "soul-attraction" sort of way. We have so, so much in common. Anyway, that night we had cheese latkes (which I made) and zucchini latkes (which Bonnie made) to accompany a chicken dinner with lots and lots more food!
And on Thursday, although we were not celebrating Christmas, I was still planning on cooking. Obviously, we still need to eat, so I thought this would be a good night for East Indian food. Lamb and Mint curry, Dahl curry, basmati rice, chapatis, and salad made for a wonderful feast. We found out that two of Mom and Mike's friends were both alone that day, so we invited them to share the meal. One of the guests brought a Singaporean dessert that was fantastic, and the perfect end to the meal. Surprisingly, no latkes that night. (I think we had had them for lunch.)
7. I have also managed to squeeze in a scrapbook layout here and there. I haven't scanned them all, but here's a couple that I really love:
8. "Latke" is really fun to say. Try it: "Latke, latke, latke..."
Happy Monday, friends! I hope your holidays were blessed!