Thursday, December 28, 2006
Celebrating the Holidays
There is very little more beautiful than the 8th night of Hanukkah with all the candles burning brightly against the dark.
Of course, there are other holidays with nice traditions this time of year, too.
After indulging in a bit of egg nog (fortified with a bourbon that seemed appropriate for this raven), we headed south to visit my parents at their hometown.
My parents celebrate Christmas. I always love seeing their simple tree...
...decorated with pinecones, straw, small brushed-gold balls, and my Great Aunt June's beautiful crocheted ornaments.
And there was knitting, too--the Christmas stocking I grew up with, knitted by my Granny...
...and the rest of the family's stockings, knit by my mother many many years ago. I have not seen these in several years.
When I was a girl, we always celebrated Christmas at Granny's house--and we still do, even though she has been dead for more than a decade. Her house has no chimney, so the stockings are hung on an ancient dresser in her front hallway.
I loved watching my family open their gifts:
...an Irish Hiking Scarf for my father, still recovering from surgery and cancer treatment and preparing for probable further surgery in January
...a linen feather-and-fan stole for my mother, knit on Granny's slippery old needles
...the felted Satchel that David knit for my brother
...and the Adamas shawl for Rebecca, by far the most photogenic model of the group. (The thing she is wearing that looks like a nametag is actually a PhD button that Son drew for her!)
Son received a wonderful present from his grandparents--and he hasn't stopped playing for a second since he opened the box:
On the day after Christmas, the temperature plummeted. We went to visit Granny's grave, intending to take some shells to lay on her marker in our effort to combine our Jewish memorial practices with her coastal identity.
When we arrived, we found that my uncle has brought her a wreath--exactly the kind of wreath I remember her hanging on her front door when I was small.
I miss her every day and do not knit a single stitch without thinking of her.
I hope that all of you, regardless of your traditions, found meaning this holiday season.