Nov. 27, Wednesday of the 34th week in Ordinary Time. Chanukkah begins.
My parents took the Squirt ahead of me to the family gathering place in the north of the state, giving me a while to compose myself and pack, prepare for the big holidays ahead (including Advent!) and rest from the past few weeks. The autumn has been full and hectic. I love my new job, but working six days a week is taking its toll on me--or perhaps it's just the underlying anonymous health conditions I'm trying to pinpoint and address.
The temperature is plummeting tonight, and so I'm grateful for a warm crochet blanket to spread over my lap while I catch up on Parks and Recreation and re-watch The Secret of Kells . . . hope to start Game of Thrones and Once sooner rather than later. But this will really be the only extended vacation I have, since we work throughout the Christmas holiday (except the 24th and 25th) at the childcare center. I've got a Sulfjan Stevens mix playing in the background, and he reminds me of winter. I'm looking at changing the linens in the bedroom soon and growing more aware of the absence of pine-scent. I'm feeling decidedly Scandinavian right now, as my Etsy searches reveal.
I'm reading two books, as I am usually not able to concentrate on one at a time: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban for the Harry Potter book club and Ender's Game. Ender's Game is older than The Hunger Games trilogy and, though I haven't read the latter, it feels far more affirming. But that may just be my knowledge of Card's Mormon beliefs and its preference by some whose opinions I regard highly. I think I like it, though it is at some parts painful. It surprises me with its forthrightness. With all my training for close reading, my methods flip and cancel out dealing with a theme and topic so complex in so simple prose. I'll probably give a fuller review after I finish.
I wanted to observe Chanukkah this year, but things didn't arrange themselves favorably for it all to come together. I was scrambling with other plans and responsibilities until the last minute, and it seems that there is not a significant enough Jewish population around here for the stores to sell menorahs. I wanted to look up the prayers and liturgy of the holiday, and even see if there was a Catholic compliment/adaptation, like there is for Passover. But here the Festival of Lights is upon us, and I'm none the wiser. It will have to wait another year.
Do you or someone you know celebrate Chanukkah? What are some of your favorite family traditions?
Coming up on the blog, I hope to do a companion decorating piece to the Hallowmass one; Micaela's special 3 Reasons I Love Catholicism Advent edition; and Haley's Advent Unplugged link-up.
I so want to "unplug" this Advent, but I really don't know what more I can give up. I don't own a television and haven't watched anything online in two months. I rarely go on Facebook any more, except after work when Squirt is still in the classroom, and I can steal a few minutes on my office computer. The Harry Potter book club is suffering, and Jenna and Masha have been more than patient; plus, our time spent discussing together is so precious and empowering for me. I'd really like to cook better, more healthful meals more frequently. I've done dinner grab-and-go more times than I'm happy with this month. And the laundry and cleaning are always endless; more than making me happy to have a neat home, it sometimes just must be done! I wouldn't' mind giving up the car and subsequent costs, but, you know . . . suburban America and all.
So, all that said, I guess I'll have to think about it and get back to you. Happy Chanukkah, friends, and, if I don't see you, a blessed Thanksgiving!