Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Love, Chanukah, and the Big Gift

I always had trouble, when I was a child, accepting that fact that I couldn't celebrate Christmas. I even used to cut squares of felt to look like stockings and tape them to the fireplace. The whole thing was quite pathetic. One time, I did find something in my "stocking"... It was a pack of golf tees (note: my mother is a golfer). That's when I knew I was fighting a losing battle...

That's also the moment when I decided to fully embrace the Festival of Lights. The whole shebang: the eight nights, the fancy hand-dipped candles, the prayers, and, of course, the presents. I learned to love having eight nights with eight presents. Giving, probably even more than receiving. But receiving is good too. *wink*

I'm going to share with you now, a memory from the vault. It was my freshman year of college, and my best guy friend wanted us to be more than friends. The problem was, he was a very serious minded guy, and I knew that if I was with him at all, it would instantly be way more serious than I was prepared for at that time. So one night, when we were not in our right minds, I wrote him a letter, it was a profound (although partially drug induced) TADAH moment for me, in which I related intimacy to Chanukah presents. Seriously.

It is important to note that in my experience, all eight presents would be wrapped and sitting out on the table with the menorah. Among the gifts, there was generally one big gift, and the rest were chotchkes/knickknacks. I could pick one gift from the pile each night, and the rest had to sit there, waiting. The question that would return each year was, Do I open the one that I think is the big gift first, or do I wait until the eighth night? On that drunken, high college night, I made my decision...

The gist of what I wrote was: If I open the big present first, I am still going to be curious about what is wrapped in the other presents; but if I save the big present for the eighth and final night, I can get the others out of the way, and then be able to fully devote myself to opening the big present and really appreciate it, with the knowledge of the little presents that had come before.

He and I weren't together then... But, eight years later, we are together now. It was well worth the wait. And yes, the gift was big.

P.S. The panties are from www.jewishfashionconspiracy.com. But if you're really into Jewish kitsch, check out www.chosencouture.com. I have the workout tank that says "Shvitz," and my dog has the pink "shayna punim" shirt.
posted by Danielle @ 12:13 AM |


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