After this year’s winter solstice, December 21, the days will begin to get longer. Good! I’m not a fan of early darkness in the late afternoon and I would guess not many people are. It’s no wonder that so many of this season’s holidays celebrate with light. It brightens the darkness of the season.
Another way to look at this seasonal lack of light perhaps is to recognize its impact on the daily rhythms of our lives. For me, it encourages a kind of cocooning affect where I turn inward, slow down my routine and attend to more projects inside my home than the longer days when light is plentiful and I’m drawn to be outside.
This year, both Christmas and Hanukkah fall in the same calendar timeframe. Our family has honored both holidays since our children were born. The flames of the menorah candles re-enact the ancient story when a one-day supply of oil lasted eight days and nights. This is the first menorah we bought more than 30 years ago. Click on the photo to hear Adam Sandler's original Hanukkah song!
Mostly this time of year, I'm looking forward to spending time with my family. Together, we'll share some meals, hang out, watch some movies and solidify some new memories for the holiday season. I hope your holiday celebrations are light-filled, heavy with family, friends and food and most of all memorable!
I use this basic latke recipe each year. I've occasionally embellished it with extra ingredients, like sweet potatoes. They are always served with a side of apple sauce and sour cream. The recipe is from a cookbook I bought at Goucher College bookstore called Simple Jewish Cookery by Edna Beilenson.