There is so much that happens in the wintertime in Cleveland; the Browns, the snow, and about 17 different holidays. (At least, that’s what it can feel like if you celebrate more than one.)
As many families do, my family celebrates more than one holiday during what we in the United States like to refer to as “the holiday season.” The holiday season typically spans from Thanksgiving Day to New Years Day. However, it seems to have expanded with the explosion of the popularity of Halloween over the past several years. I sometimes wonder if there will come a time when the holiday season refers to the entire year with the exception of the month of August, which is the only month in the US that does not have a major holiday. (Although, someone would probably suggest that we make August a holiday for that very reason.)
But, let’s get back on topic.
There are a lot of holidays that take place between November and January. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, the Winter Solstice, Las Posadas, Diwali or the Chinese New Year, or any combination of the aforementioned, the holiday season can look quite different from household to household.
Here are some observations I have made over the years in both my home and the homes of others who are combination-celebrators.
Observation #1: Something in the house is always on fire. Between the menorah candles, a fireplace, kinara candles, advent candles, candles in the windows, candles on the tree or candles on the mantle, flames are everywhere!
Observation #2: Many homes resemble a January clearance end-cap at Target. The house is scattered with reindeer and dreidels, elves on shelves, napkins with the Star of David on them, a dancing Snoopy wearing a santa hat and a bunch of random ornaments that have no rhyme or reason as to why they are together.
Observation #3: The music playing is confusing, but never boring. I know I am not the only one who can relate to a playlist on which Michael Buble’s Let It Snow is immediately followed by Adam Sandler’s The Chanukah Song followed immediately by Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Canon...right?
Observation #4: Basically, we do not stop eating from November to January. Starting at Thanksgiving and ending at...whenever Hanukkah ends this year.
Observation #5: There are things inside the house that are normally outside and things that are outside that are normally inside. It’s kind of strange how we uproot a piece of nature and bring it into the house at the same time we take a bunch of lights and hang them outside.
The beauty of celebration is that, regardless of what it looks like, it always feels the same; happy, joyful, humbling and surrounded by love.
Happy whatever, everyone!