December Will Be Magic Again
December is a busy month in my home, and here's why:
1) MY ANNIVERSARY. Jonathan and I celebrated our 7th anniversary on Dec. 7. And yes, I do know that it's Pearl Harbor Day. Just how did I come to be married on Pearl Harbor Day, you might ask? By accident.
Jonathan and I had been living together for a number of years, and had two kids. We were engaged, but were in no rush to head down the aisle. Anyhoo, my mother was very sick and dying of breast cancer in the winter of 1997. My father called me, and told me he was surprising her with plane tickets to visit me in Portland (she lived in Ohio). I had not seen my mother in well over a year, and she'd never been to Portland. Needless to say, I was thrilled by the idea.
We put our heads together, trying to find some gift we could give my mom that would be extra special. Then it occured to us: why not get married? And not just married, but in a fun, unforgettable way?
And so it came to be that on a Monday, just before my mom's plane touched down, we arranged to get married at the now-defunct Portland landmark, The 24-Hour Church of Elvis. The only slot open that coincided with my mother's stay was that Friday. We booked it without a second thought; it was only after the wedding did we realize that it was Pearl Harbor Day.
The wedding was a blast. After the vows, the processional actually walked down the street and into Powell's Books, where the onlookers applauded us (if you click the link above, you'll see the "Just Married" sign our best man, Chris, carried during this processional). We then came back to our apartment for a small reception. It was so much fun, and my mother was both touched and inordinately pleased that we'd gotten married while she was in town.
She died seven months later, on July 26, 1998.
2) CHANNUKAH. My husband is Jewish, so we celebrate both holidays in our home. This year, the first night of Channukah also happened to be our anniversary, Dec. 7th. Eight nights of candles, gelt (chocolate coins given out on this holiday) and presents. We start out by giving little gifts on the first day (usually just gelt, other candy and coloring books) and give bigger and bigger presents until the 8th night, when they each get one big present (this year, the older two got the Game Boy DS's). Great fun for the kids; terribly exhausting for us grown-ups. But completely worth it.
I still feel very guilty about Channukah this year. I was sick through most of it, and spent a few of the nights in the ER, doubled over in pain from the neuralgia. Jonathan insists that I didn't ruin the holiday, but I still fell like I was a dampener at the very least.
I never celebrated Channukah until Jonathan and I moved in together; and now, I can't imagine a winter without it. I love watching the candles burn down. I like watching my son with his little yarmulke on, lighting the shofar and saying the Hebrew prayers. I adore watching the kids play with the dreidle, and sing the dreidle song. It's become a precious time for me, even though it is not technically "my holiday." It's still, over the years, become a part of me.
3) CHRISTMAS. Just as Channukah has become a favorite holiday of mine, so has Christmas evolved into a favorite time for my Jewish husband. This man truly loves Christmas. He whistles as he wraps presents. He takes pride in his Christmas turkey (which this year, he took extra pains to make as tender as possible so that I could actually eat it, the sweetheart). And he wakes up at the crack of dawn without complaint to see the looks of joy on his childrens' faces as they unwrap their gifts and unpack their stockings.
Speaking of stockings, I want to take a moment to thank my loopie friend NOMEM for making my kids' stockings this year. They are absolutely beautiful. You can see them on her website here. Check it out: it is quality work, and the stockings are already cherished heirlooms in my family. She even found a cute little wren bird for Wren's.
Eden was a little overwhelmed at the sheer enormity of the holiday, and passed out pretty quickly last night, her arm around her beloved Glow-Worm that was the hit present at Channukah this year. Her biggest gift on Christmas was a Weebles Village. She just loves this thing. I'm amused that Weebles are back in style...I keep humming the old jingle, "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!" Everything old is new again: my son got Transformers, my older daughter, Care Bears. I keep wondering when the Smurfs will come back....
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season...whether you celebrate Christmas, Channukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Solstice or nothing at all....I wish you Peace and Godwill towards all men. Surely, the world needs it now more than ever.
"December Will Be Magic Again"
by Kate Bush
December will be magic again. Take a Husky to the ice while Bing
Crosby sings 'White Christmas' -- he makes you feel nice. December
will be magic again...Old Saint Nicholas up the chimney, just popping up in my memory...Dropping down in my parachute (the white city, she looks so beautiful!), up on the black-soot-icicled roofs...Oh! And see how I fall, see how I fall, like the snow, come to cover the lovers (Don't you wake them up!), come to sparkle the dark up, come to cover the muck up with just a touch of make-up (with a little luck). See how I fall...
December will be magic again. Light up the candlelights to
conjure Mr. Wilde into the silent night. (Ooh! It's quiet inside, here in Oscar's mind!) December will be magic again. Don't miss the brightest star, kiss under mistletoe...I want to hear you laugh --
Don't let the mystery go now!
December will be magic again