Tag Archives: Chanukah

Reflecting on the Eighth Night

How many menorahs are there?

How many menorahs are there?

Yesterday one of my friends from high school and Sunday School, Calvin Rose, posted a photo on Facebook of his lit menorah. I loved how the eight candles plus the shamash were reflected in the window.

Hey, thought I! I’ve never taken a pic like that in all these years of trying something new every Chanukah. It was time . . . especially with it being the eighth night. Otherwise, I’d have to wait until next year, perish the thought.

So I placed a TV tray by the window in the dining room and moved the menurkey to it. Lit the candles as I chanted the prayer and then picked up my Nikon D700.

Notice something colorful in the background?

Notice something colorful in the background?

After I lamented not having one big, solid window, I snapped and then checked the result. What a surprise! Thanks to my neighbor Tony, his multicolored Christmas lights gave me some sweet accidental bokeh.

Bokeh front and back

Bokeh front and back

Naturally, I thoroughly enjoyed finishing off the holiday with my very own reflective (low) light show.

Focusing on Tony’s lights

Focusing on Tony’s lights

Hope Calvin comes up with another great idea for me to steal try next year!

One-Word Wednesday

Last night the menurkey was glowing; I light all eight candles tonight.

Last night (night #7) the menurkey was glowing; I light all eight candles (plus the shamash candle) tonight.

Final!

Bring On the Holidays!

We’ll break out two new menorahs this year . . . if the other one arrives on time.

We’ll break out two new menorahs this year . . . if the other one arrives on time.

Chanukah starts tomorrow night (yep, it’s early), and, believe it or not, I’m just about ready. I even used more-appropriate gift wrap, for a change. Pats on the back for me!

My coy boy

My coy boy

My younger son arrived home yesterday afternoon from SHSU. His older brother still has three classes today at UTSA before he joins us tonight. There will be joy, merriment, and lots of Chanukah candles to light. Plus Thanksgiving!

As always, there’s a lot to be thankful for! Happy Thanksgivukkah!

The Times They Are A-Changing

The Chanukah list

Lots of possibilities

Chanukah arrives early this year. In fact, for the first time since 1888, the first day is on Thanksgiving! Turkey and latkes anyone?

As usual, I’ve asked my sons for their wish lists. And, as usual, peace on earth fails to make an appearance (or, for that matter, the sentiment that paying for their college educations is present enough).

When I got my younger son’s e-mail with his wants, I about fell over . . . and then I started to laugh. Look at the fifth item, which is one of those “I most wants.” Yep, it’s actually a book!

Love this old list!

Love this old list!

Stroll with me down memory lane for awhile. Remember this blog post from 2009? Yes, number 4 on the above dry-erase board photo from that post says “No Books!” As you might recall, the kid hated the annual Chanukah book night that his older brother looked forward to. So after my younger son put it in writing, I stopped buying him novels and nonfiction works as gifts.

But now that he’s in college, he actually is asking for “The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy.” Will wonders never cease?!? Ironically, it was published in 2009.

Book night is back, baby! Bam!

Farewell to Chanukah

Younger helps older keep his candles lit

Younger helps older keep his candles lit

This time of year the days just fly by. As well as the eight nights of Chanukah.

I guess the excitement of my college kid returning home coupled with a steady parade of his friends and a new Wii U accelerated the end of the holiday.

Love this photo of all three of my sons (including Chase in the middle)!

Love this photo of all three of my sons (including Chase in the middle)!

We’re cherishing the wonderful memories.

Sticky stuff abounds on this menorah.

There’s more sticky stuff being deposited.

And, as always, lamenting all that waxy buildup. Some things never leave our hearts . . . or our menorahs!

Home for the Holidays

My older son smiles via Skype as the sixth-night candles glow.

My older son smiles via Skype as the sixth-night candles glow.

Oh, how I’m looking forward to tonight! Not only is it the seventh night of Chanukah, but my collegian finally will be joining us . . . in person!

My “third son,” Chase, chats with his best friend in our living room.

My “third son,” Chase, chats with his best friend in our living room.

As I type, my son is taking (and, hopefully, acing) his last final of the semester at UTSA. Then he’ll pick up his things at his apartment and will drive home. About three hours later, I’ll be hugging him.

I can’t wait!

I Photographed a Little Dreidel

The dreidel starts its journey.

The dreidel starts its journey.

I have a little dreidel.

Gotta spin it to win it!

Gotta spin it to win it!

It was made out of plastic.

All good things must end.

All good things must end.

And when it lands on gimel,

That’s all, folks!

That’s all, folks!

I win . . . now that’s fantastic!

Chanukah Waxes On

Here we go: Night #2

Here we go: Night #2

When I look at this photo of my younger son lighting his menorah Sunday night, one thing pops out at me: Wax. Lots and lots of the sticky stuff all over the back of the candelabrum. Obviously, we don’t do a good job cleaning them once Chanukah ends. Talk about your waxy buildup!

Nestling the shamash back in place.

Nestling the shamash back in place.

Maybe we’ll do a better job this year.

But probably not.

The kid loves Cookie Monster!

The kid loves Cookie Monster!

I always like when I can surprise my sons with their gifts. My younger boy didn’t have this warm cap on his list, but I knew he’d want it, because he likes anything warm (he hates being cold). Plus he’s a huge Cookie Monster fan!

Yet another videogame for my older son

Yet another videogame for my older son

Of course, a list is the best way to ensure that you’re giving the kids things they want. My collegian put together a collection of desires from videogames for all our current Nintendo systems  to ones for his and his brother’s hoped-for big present: The new Wii U. As well as a watch, books, and gift cards.

Little bro’s list was smaller, but one item stood out very large: A Pedro Martinez jersey. He didn’t really care which team it was from (the three-time Cy Young Award winner and eight-time all-star played for five of them) . . . but I did! There was no way I was going to allow anything with the words “New York Mets” (aka the sworn enemy of all Cub fans) in my house. No way!

The kid shows his Skyping big bro his gift.

The kid shows his Skyping big bro his gift.

Fortunately, I was able to score a used (but it looks new) Martinez Boston jersey via eBay. Pedro helped the Red Sox win the 2004 World Series.

He likes it!

He likes it!

The kid is a Red Sox fan, making his third-night gift very special. Pat on the back for mom!

The third-night candles are burning low.

The third-night candles are burning low.

So what will tonight bring? One thing’s for sure: Even more wax on the kid’s menorah!

Chanukah Oh Chanukah!

I’m lighting the candle as I’m snapping the pic. Multitasking!

I’m lighting the candle as I’m snapping the pic. Multitasking!

Welcome to my annual week-long foray into low-light photography. Or, as it’s known by its given name, Chanukah!

My younger son lights his menorah.

My younger son lights his menorah.

Our favorite holiday started Saturday night. So far the kid hasn’t hated any of his gifts. But it’s still early.

This is an unusual way for my older son to wear a yarmulke.

This is an unusual way for my #1 son to wear a yarmulke.

As usual (well, for the last few years), my older son joined us via Skype from UTSA. I could hear him chanting along with the candle-lighting prayer and could watch him open his first-night present.

He likes his new watch!

He likes his new watch!

While I’m glad that technology allows us to be “together” when there are so many miles between us, I’ll be so happy when my collegian is finished with finals (which start Wednesday) and will be home for the last two nights.

Even used videogames cause a smile.

Even used videogames cause a smile.

Being together for at least part of our holiday makes it even better and definitely brighter.

The kid’s menorah is lonely.

The kid’s menorah is lonely.

Plus there will be so many more candles to photograph with the addition of yet another menorah on the seventh and eighth nights!

Sidebar: For previous Chanukah posts, please type “Chanukah” into the search box in the right column.

One-Word Wednesday

My older son took these gifts back with him to UTSA to open during Chanukah. The first night is December 8. The Chanukah gift wrap, sadly, is in the attic.

Presents!