One of my favorite things about this family is how we celebrate our Winter Holidays.
I love that 5 totally un-Jewish, mostly non-practicing anything, free spirits crowd around the menorah together each night of Chanukah and tell and retell the story of the miracle of the lamp oil which the eight day holiday commemorates.
I love that something so simple can give us such a rich experience of slowing down, snugging up, thinking about magic, and feeling glad.
I love the way 9 candle flames look flickering together in unison, as though they were dancing a Rockettes kick-line routine.
I love the way we all get a little calmer and quieter in the presence of the lit candles.
I love that we have at least one more (all night!) candle to anticipate — on the Winter Solstice.
And I really love that we have this gorgeous Yule/Christmas Tree across the room from the menorah on the family altar.
It all reminds me that the real “reason for the season” isn’t the ideological property of any particular religion, isn’t about a person, or a miracle, or a faith. It’s gratitude. That’s what all the fuss is about — giving us the simple yearly chance to be full of the glad power of gratitude.
I’m so thankful for that.
I’m so thankful that our celebrations have glowing candles, borrowed rituals, and refigured traditions, hugs, laughter, play, family time with all of us together, and more visiting family, the Butterfly Herbs holiday party, snow, and the newer tradition of setting up the Fairy Food Market at multiple craft fairs (like we did all day today!).
I am so thankful that this is my family. That these are our rituals. That we are us.
Blesséd be sweet world. The McTague Family loves/d here.