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Chappy Chanukkah!

shammash

Thanks to Elmo, Isaac asked if we could celebrate Hanukkah this year. I said, “Well, Jesus celebrated Hanukkah. Some say He was conceived during Hanukkah. Okay. Let’s see.”

So I made the menorah — a little bit of Martha, a little bit of an excuse to practice knitting with wire. I lined up the latke recipes. We found some gelt. We got a few books — one for kids, one with the whole story, and one to satisfy Mom’s obsession with American history (especially as it intersects with Polish history!). We even had some honest-to-goodness homemade chicken noodle soup a la Kaminski! I did overhear my tender little near-4-year-old ask the dog today, “Sugar? Do you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza?” And then I heard Sugar respond in a familiar voice (but pitched a little higher than the 4yo’s), “I celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah.” Who IS this child?

The Jewish custom is to recite a certain blessing with the lighting of the candles. I thought we couldn’t resist talking about the Light of the World at these moments, so I’ve collected several such “blessings” from the New Testament. For today:

God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. . . . If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
I John 1:5-7

That’s the “shammash” up there. It’s the “worker” candle. But Isaac calls it the “pastor candle.” “Why, Isaac? Where did you get that?” “Well, Mommy. It’s taller than all the others, see? And it lights all the other candles. It’s the servant candle. So it’s the pastor!” Wow. That child. . . .

[tags]knitting with wire, hanukkah, homemade menorah[/tags]

Chappy Chanukkah!

7 thoughts on “Chappy Chanukkah!

  • December 5, 2007 at 11:37 am
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    Awww. Your kids . . . You need to write a parenting book, because obviously, you’re doing something right!

    Sometimes it’s just so surprising to stand back and realize that little kids are little people, with little opinions and personalities! Yours are definitely special individuals.

  • December 7, 2007 at 11:26 am
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    You are so clever and such a good mother ! Isaac probably knows more about such things than his Gramma does ! Wish I were a little mouse………..

  • December 8, 2007 at 8:56 am
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    “Some say He was conceived during Hanukkah.” Really? I’ve never heard that. That would make Jesus born August or November. Catholics say that Mary was conceived around now. The feast of Immaculate Conception is celebrated December 8 (today!).

  • December 9, 2007 at 8:29 am
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    Oooo — thanks, Leigh Ann!

    Becca, I actually got into a discussion about this recently with some more liturgical sorts. When they declared quite authoritatively that Christ was conceived on March 25 (since that’s when their church celebrates Mary’s annunciation), I laughed outloud! How conveniently someone just counted back 9 months from December 25th and declared that Christ’s conception date! How neat and tidy (and how Gen-X of me to not believe it)!! I mean, I’m completely fine with picking a day to celebrate like that, but no, they insisted that it was actual FACT that it happened ON THAT DAY! Fundyism creeps up in the funniest places.

    Anyway, based on weather and such and when the shepherds are usually out in the fields, some have deduced that Christ was born in October. If that’s the case, then Mary’s “LMP” (last menstrual period) was probably right about now. Of course, the Hebrew calendar is different from ours (lunar, I believe), so sometimes it doesn’t quite fit (making the March 25th date a historical fact less possible!).

    It’s all guess work anyway. For a 4-year-old, talking about Jesus being in Mary’s tummy just before Christmas works pretty well. So it’s as good as anything. πŸ˜‰

  • December 9, 2007 at 8:23 pm
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    What insight!

    “Sometimes it’s just so surprising to stand back and realize that little kids are little people, with little opinions and personalities!”

    My older two were baptised as toddlers. My oldest was two and it was watching him kneel (unprompted) and be baptised that I first really understood that the Lord was working directly in my children’s hearts. Yes, He works through me, but He also works apart from me. That realisation changed so much in how I both leaned into the Lord and treated my children.

  • December 10, 2007 at 12:29 am
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    Oh, definitely yes!! I’m in favor of celebrating the incarnation any and all times! I just didn’t know there were who people thought Jesus was conceived around this time of year. Cool. Christmas always takes me back to the Magnificat anyways–such a beautiful prayer. Such a beautiful picture of submission and grace.

    Also, your boys are adorable. It’s so great that you document that stuff. πŸ™‚

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