Monday, December 15, 2014

Hanukkah Zoannakkah

I'm here. I haven't forgotten my peeps in blogland.

But I have been uber busy, as you all have, I'm sure. I mean, it IS almost Christmas time and we all know that Mrs. Claus does the lion's share of the prep work. That doesn't seem to change with the seasons of life.

However, I am making a change and it's not Christmas-related, but yet it is. It's about the peace on earth part. To quote an old song, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." 

I've decided to change something in my heart to make for a merrier holiday. It actually means MORE work, but that's okay. Love means commitment, and commitment involves work.  

What's the heart change all about?  It's about Hanukkah.  I'm going to do more than acknowledge Hanukkah; I'm going to help my parents celebrate in a small, meaningful way. 

In previous years, I have resisted for reasons that don't need the worldwide web to know. Let's just say that to be raised Christian by these very same parents,  with Christmas as a highlight of the year, only to have my parents reject December 25th  as "pagan" about 10 years ago,  has been a very painful thing for me to accept.  I've dealt with my pain childishly--throwing temper tantrums, not wanting to be together on their terms this time of year, circling the wagons with my own offspring,  and so forth.  Bitter, bitter, bitter. 

What peace on earth is there to that kind of thinking and behavior? 

Why not, I asked myself, try to build bridges this year instead of burn them? Why make it all about me and what I want? Why not embrace something they feel is important, even if  Hanukkah had no place in our family celebrations as good ole Southern Baptists!

I've heard counselors say that you should not wait for the feelings to come before changing if you want a changed relationship. Start doing the deeds and then the feelings will follow. It might take time, but the heart has a way of lining up with the hands. 

There are eight nights of Hanukkah, one for each night a candle is lit to remember the miracle of the eight nights of olive oil being provided by God to light the menorah in the rebuilt Temple. There was only enough oil for one night, according to what the Maccabees found, but God is in the business of miracles.

So, I'm going to deliver eight little gifts, one per night, to my parents' door. They live about 15 minutes away, so it's an easy sleigh ride. To mix holiday metaphors.

I don't know what to call a Jewish Secret Santa.  I guess I'm Hanukkah Zoannakkuh.

My gifts: 

Tuesday night--2 matching Hanukkah placemats  (making them today)
Wednesday night--8 cloth napkins  (making)
Thursday night--a mug with my son's own artwork on it (a school fundraiser too)
Friday night--donuts (Hanukkah is all about the donuts)
Saturday night--a gift card to some place they eat (they eat out a lot, like most retirees!) 
Sunday night--hot, fresh rolls (they love the ones I make) and some Sandhill Plum jelly made by  my friend Barb in Kansas. (Sandhill plum jelly is one of my dad's nostalgic treats from his days growing up in KS)
Monday night--framed photos from Daddy's 80th birthday which we celebrated on Thanksgiving 
Tuesday- tea and burnt cookies. My mom loves Bedtime Blend  tea ever since I brought her some during a recovery from surgery.   And of course burnt cookies for Daddy.  Yes, burnt cookies, his favorite. Type isn't as important as "flavor". 

I missed the Wednesday Hodgepodge last week, but hope I can squeeze it in this week. Might be one of my super short (like 8 words for each answer) ones. 

Toodles from 
Hanukkah Zoannakkuh ! 


Preeti Harris said...

It is very nice to meet you Hanukkah Zoannakkuh. I can also imagine your totally cute smiling face as Santa!!! In any case, as you said, it is about bringing joy whatever the name/costume.
Although we may continue old traditions, it is totally awesome to start new ones!!!

Carrie Bullock said...

Ha ha ha, love the Hanukkah Zoannakkuh! And your Jewish Secret Santa idea! Too cute.

Susan Kane said...

You honor your parents in the best way, which is to love them so much.

Lea said...

Well, hats off to you Zoanna. I know this was a tough decision but I'm betting your parents are going to be first, shocked, then thrilled. I'd love to know the story behind this change in their lives. How interesting it must be. All the best!

Sally Henry said...

you. are. awesome. And can I just say - I'm so excited that the Lord whispered this idea in your ear and you listened! I know this time of year isn't easy for you - I'm so proud of you for taking the menorah in hand and being proactive! And in blessing others, you will be blessed indeed! Love ya, Hanukkah Zoannakkuh!