Happy Hanukkah to all and to all a Happy Hanukkah!
Hanukkah always seems like a tricky holiday. Where do the presents go when there is no convenient Christmas tree to lay them under? I remember when I was very young, my parents would have the Sister and I sit on chairs in the living room, close our eyes, and put our hands out. After a few moments, a gift would then be placed in our open hands. Being as well trained as we were at such a young age, we would wait until told to open our eyes. Then in our tiny hands would be whatever trifle we wanted. When I was five or so and our presents began getting bigger, our gifts were wrapped and placed around a chair, out of the way, until Hanukkah began.
I grew up one of a handful of Jews in a small, and very Christian town, and being the only jew in my grade I was often held up as an example or questioned as the resident expert. In kindergarten, our teacher told our class all about Hanukkah and how some Jews have a Hanukkah bush. As would become the pattern future me would experience over and over, she then turned to me, the resident expert. “Does your family have a Hanukkah Bush?” she asked. “No,” I said in my ancient 5 year-old wisdom, “We have a Hanukkah Chair.” The chair changes, but the tradition remains.
This year I received a beautiful quilt made by a friend from work. She may demure and claim that a “real quilter would laugh at it” but I see no flaws. It is amazing with straight lines and crisp edges and truly beautiful colors. I am unbelievably honored that I received this gift. I brought it home and the Husband found the perfect place to display it. On the Hanukkah Chair.