Sunday, December 6, 2015

Prayers, Candles, and Presents

A couple of nights ago we started Hanukkah a little early. Over the last month we had bought a few too many toys for our son so we figured we would begin part of the evening routine a couple of days prior. He didn’t really know what to make of it but he was happy with what we got him and seeing that smile made the few extra dollars seem like the bargain of the century. After all, this is his first Hanukkah and we want to make it a little more special so we have tried to make it as fun as possible while setting the ground work for a new holiday tradition.

We are starting this tradition as a family… just the three of us this year. Throughout the weekend, my wife and I made enough brisket to last for the eight nights and we made sure, beginning tonight, to light the candles with the proper blessings. It is only after the candles are lit, which our son seems to enjoy in and of itself, when we go back into the office closet and pull out the next toy for our son to play with. Reading the transliteration in front of our son know that, at one point I could read the Hebrew, reignited my desire to learn this beautiful language.

There is something calming about slowing down for a few moments, reading the prayers, and carefully lighting each candle. It really allows all three of us to just be in the moment while we enjoy our faith as a family. This followed by the happiness in our son’s face as he played with the toys (and the boxes that they came in) are really what makes this a special time of year and I look forward to sharing with him more and more about the holiday and the significance that it holds.

Of course, there is also another fun part of the evening as I was able to hide the small gifts that I have been accumulating over the past several weeks from my wife. Well, most of them are small. While the vast majority were clearance finds or daily deals, I was also able to find something that I had been meaning to get for her for some time now. Thankfully the camera that I was looking at went on sale and I was able to stay within budget. So now, each night, we will have images to accompany our memories and, most importantly, I might have made up, at least a little bit, for my mistakes during her birthday.

And now, with the candles having long since faded, and my wife and son sleeping, I am sitting here writing this and looking forward to the rest of the Hanukkah holiday. I am so glad that we are able to have this experience throughout the week and I can’t wait to see the smiles every evening. And, just think, it only gets better from here.