The holidays are a time for many kinds of traditions. Whether it's the lighting of the menorah or the trimming of the tree or reuniting with friends too long unseen. And, of course, this is a time of year for watching movies and singing songs. And while we spend a lot of the rest of the year chasing the next "new thing," around the holidays, most of us revisit our old favourites... watching movies that take us back to our childhood.
As a Rabbi, I have always found it somewhat curious the way the general North American public looks upon the festival of Chanukah. While actually a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish calendar, it is given much significance in Western society.
But what I also find fascinating is the way that North America had to simultaneously transform Chanukah into a festivity that relates to the North American consciousness. If people are going to be celebrating this holiday then it better have a meaning with which these individuals can connect.
I admit that I'm a hard-to-buy-for Mama, usually offering few suggestions of what I'd like for the holidays. But ask me what I want for the kids, I can instantly rhyme off gifts for my entire brood. This is often the case with us Mamas who put our families first, and ourselves last. So I've decided to make a wish list for the Holidays, and cease being the difficult one this year.