Before I go into my post, I want to wish everyone here a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, New Year; Happy Holidays.
The holidays in my family are always a treat. Truth be told I rarely remember presents, but I do treasure the memories I made with my family over the holidays. My mother’s side always celebrated Christmas while my dad’s side celebrated Hanukkah. Yep I celebrated both holidays; my co-workers say I’m lucky, getting more presents. Honestly getting presents is not what I love about the holidays; it’s being with family.
Hanukkah is always fun in my home, depending on what night of the year it lands on (this year is Christmas Eve!) Unlike most Jewish families mine open all of our presents on the first night. I remember getting Broadway Plaques of shows I’ve seen or shows I’m going to see thanks to my parents. My brother, real simple anything Batman related you can possibly think of. We do keep traditions alive by lighting up the menorah. Again we are not traditional. Instead of lighting candles we have an electric menorah with bulbs instead of candles. It’s just me, mom, dad and my brother; my grandmother lives in Florida and my uncles are too far away.
Christmas has many great memories for me. We would go up to my aunt and uncle’s home in Connecticut, and they had a HUGE house. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins would all be there; it was awesome. Gathering around the tree, opening presents, my uncle playing “A Christmas Story” non-stop, and ended with Family BINGO. It was like that for a few years until my aunt and uncle moved to Manhattan. We would then celebrate Christmas in my grandparents home, until they both passed away. Since then Christmas was spent sadly far from the family for a while, meeting when we could. Thankfully my aunt and uncle decided to retire in Brooklyn and my uncle’s girlfriend has a great home in Albany as well. We meet when we can, this year we will be on Christmas Day.
My family does have a tradition. All the adults pull a name out of a hat. If they are not in the immediate family we have to buy presents for them. We are allowed to ask if there is something specific they want. No gift cards, unless asked and maximum is $100. This year I bought for my aunt, no spoilers here, but I hope she likes my present. One of my most memorable presents came from my cousin. I had asked for about ten DVDS of movies I loved but did not own. I told him if he could buy three or four of them that would make my Christmas. Some DVDs would have been difficult to find so i told him not to worry if he couldn’t. Come our meeting, I opened his gift (which looked like a shoe box) and all ten DVDs were inside. I could not believe it, had to give him a big hug after. Not my gift, but my uncle is a little nuts and would give random gifts to all of us. My mother, his sister, would receive this for a gift: a frog statue dressed like a butler and a tray. We still have it.
These are some of my wonderful holiday memories, I hope to make some more tomorrow. Once again, Happy Holidays.