I had planned a splashy start to this series of posts-a Chanukah first night feast. Unlike slick magazine articles (the perfect country Christmas dinner for 25 in the restored barn which is actually written and photographed in June) I like to write in real-time about my real family. Real families get colds, real families have too much homework, real families eat cheese omelets for dinner on the first night of Chanukah instead of the inventive gourmet spread I had planned.
What was special tonight was not the food or the carefully wrapped boxes, but the love in the tired faces gathered around the menorah’s glowing lights and the soft sweetness in my Mom’s voice on the phone when she talked about holidays and tried to find some good even in a crappy day. This was a tough year for my family on many fronts, but we have all made it through to this season and are stronger for it and that is my Chanukah gift for the first night.