This was my first Hanukkah.
There were lessons on how to spell ‘Hanukkah’; there was profanity while I misspelled it each time.
There were Menorahs. There were latkes.
There were songs. And there was a gift for me!
And then there were tears. And the words no Jewish child ever wants to hear “Hanukkah has been cancelled.”
As a writer, it’s not surprising that I love to read. I love when someone recommends a book to me that they think I will really enjoy.
As a child, I read ferociously. One of my earliest memories is going to the Queens County library with my mother. (It’s either that or getting yelled at in kindergarten by the art teacher. I think we’ll go with the happier one please.)
I spent two nights of Hanukkah with my friend Jackie and her lovely family. I spent hours contemplating the perfect gift for each member of the family. (And, I do mean each member of the family – Teddy, the cocker spaniel & Kitty, yes, the cat also got gifts).
Jackie loved her owl themed gifts.
Her husband loved his Superman T-shirt (Don’t worry. That’s not inappropriate. I don’t think he’s Superman. He does. It’s his ringtone when he calls his wife.)
The baby loved her LeapFrog toy/stuffed animal, instantly giving it kisses.
The 4 year old, who I’ve often drawn with- fortunately without flashbacks from kindergarten- loved his drawing tablet.
And then the 6 year old… I knew giving a set of books to a 6 year old could turn ugly. I figured he’d be initially disappointed but I envisioned reading it to him that night and all would be well. I was wrong. There were tears after he was scolded after asking if that was all I got for him, because his brother got a toy. But the next morning all was right in the world and he apologized and agreed he’d like the books.
Unfortunately, he had a similar reaction to his babysitter’s gift and Jackie uttered the words no child wants to hear. “Hanukkah has been cancelled.”
I stayed in the other room as she unwrapped the remaining nights gifts he was going to get. I couldn’t watch.
I only hope to be invited again next year. And this time, everyone is getting a toy.
Don’t forget. When the Menorah candles stop being lit, the 99cent ebook will be gone. Get ‘Gone…But Not Missing’ – a mystery novel set in Long Beach, NY – before the price goes up.