Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, December 9, 2013

Savoring The Season

Chanukkah Lights at Temple Menorah

Hanukkah is over, but I am still feeling the joy of the Festival of Lights.  It truly was 8 crazy nights in our household.  As the first day (and second night) fell on Thanksgiving, there was barely time to enjoy it.  Honestly, since my fall earlier in November, followed by our Vegas trip, and then back to back birthday celebrations, Hanukkah started without any time to catch my breath.  Once the holiday started, we were running from one thing to the next.  It was all wonderful, fun stuff, but it is hard to enjoy the moment when you are running to catch it!

But then, the fourth night came.  It was a Saturday and my husband and I were hosting his parents, aunt, sister and her family.  It was our annual family Hanukkah celebration that we look forward to every year.  This year, my kids prepared a Hanukkah show, and I mean really prepared.  They were talking about it for weeks leading up to it.  My eldest was writing songs, and running them by me for my comments (so cute!).  Then, there was the "set" design and the raiding of our craft drawers for materials.  This was a major production as far as they were concerned, but I really wasn't prepared for the spectacular entertainment that was to follow.  

I sat reclined on the sofa, with a glass of wine in my hand, a bit exhausted from the day of cooking and all of the excitement that comes with hosting a big family for dinner.  My kids took the "stage" and it was spectacular.  I was so proud!  There were introductions, announcements and segues, rehearsed numbers, and choreography.  This show was good!!!  

I took in every moment of that show, every note that my kids sang, every step they danced, and each bow they took.  In those moments, I finally let go of all the busyness and anxiousness I was feeling.  I let go of the need to do, and let myself enjoy.  The joy of watching what my kids prepared filled me with a calm that I had been missing so far during the holiday.  Later, as I watched them open their gifts, and saw the delight on their faces, heard their squeals of thanks, and received big hugs of gratitude, I was reminded what all my busyness is about. 

Yes, the present shopping, menu planning, gift wrapping, card signing, house cleaning, and meal cooking has to get done, but I think I almost forgot what it was all for.  It was just one big to-do list until I watched my little munchkins perform their hearts out.  Tis the season of joy, and it is to be savored, not hurried.  

Things got a little quieter for the last three days of Hanukkah, and the feeling of that special night stayed with me.  As Christmas nears and the hurriedness of the season threatens to suck me into a panic of all there is to do, I go back to that feeling and hope you will find your own to savor the season.  Happy holidays!