Hello my Bunchkie.
Today we celebrated Thanksgiving. Your mom and dad were the hosts at your house on the river in Oxford. It was a lovely day for a family to get together, with the weather a balmy 55 degrees in the sun. Not bad for November the 25th, 2021.
The Covid 19 pandemic is still rampant in the world, yet most families having been vaccinated were gingerly able to assemble in small groups safely. We will not know the ramifications of this deadly virus for many more years. Our celebration included Uncle John; just on the throws of having lost Aunt June back in September, on our Rosh Hashanah; (so we did not attend her burial) along with cousin Kristen and cousin Chris. No party would be complete without Uncle Luke, although Auntie Kim was at her mom and dad’s house hosting their family Thanksgiving. We missed her. Holidays sometimes make it difficult for all memebers to gather in one place, and that brings me to today’s “Noon with Nova.”
The perks of marrying outside of your religion…
and other minor war stories.
So; let’s discuss the good first.
A. You never have to worry about where you are celebrating the following…and with which family.
Passover, (unless it falls on Easter, and I do not think it ever does according to the full moon calendar. If I am wrong; I stand corrected. I do not think the Seder nights are ever on Easter.)
Hanukkah (although some nights sometimes will fall on Christmas or Christmas Eve.)
and a slew of other Jewish Holidays including Shavuot, Purim, Sukkot, and more.
The Holidays that give all couples a, “Where did we go last year? Where do we go this year? Do we do dessert at your mom’s and dinner at mine?” include:
Thanksgiving, and the more difficult if you can imagine: Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
This is so hard running around on what is supposed to be a joyous occasion, and compounded once we all have our own little nucleus to transport with all the paraphanelia it requires.
Anyway; I digress.
One of the perks…back to A. You don’t concern yourself as to where to go, and if you are able, I suggest hosting the common Holidays at your home and inviting all sides to join in.
Of course in a large family this can become difficult to accommodate all.
I suggest keeping a calendar and checking off where you spent the last Thanksgiving.
Unless you have other reasons to stay with one family or the other, and I am not going down that rabbit hole. Perhaps another “noon with Nova” as I become older and more unfiltered…I hear you all…
So; I married a Catholic man; no cares about where to celebrate and I was lucky enough to live close by my inlaws and parents so we could get everyone together on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. My mom; your great grandma Phyllis was a master guiltress, and could make your life a living Hell if you did not do what she deemed appropriate. I hopefully have raised my children not to feel this way. I love to be with them, as often as possible, but if not on a specific day, another day is perfect. It is their and your world. I have passed the proverbial baton, and the table, and I am just passing through.
My assumption is you may not be that lucky. So; follow your heart when choosing where to go, just choose joy over guilt and required/expected Holiday attendance.
Some families do not speak at all, so no worries about where to celebrate the common holidays. Some families just live geographically too far away. Some people work on Holidays in professions that need their services. One thing I can tell you: There will always be someone at the party snearing because someone decided to celebrate away from the inner family agenda. I have been that person, awkward yes; other rewards, yes.
As referenced in another “noon with Nova” it is your responsibility if you do marry someone who does not celebrate your major Holidays to teach them why and how yours are celebrated. I have been guilty of not doing this, not communicating and just letting this fester over the years. I would just become moody and say: “You don’t even say Happy New Year? (on Rosh Hashanah)” That is too much pressure to place on someone who has no clue what the heck you are taliking about, and why it is important to you. Take care of it in the beginning. Make what is important to you important to your partner and your children. If courageous enough; make it important to those you work with, so they understand why you are leaving to be home prior to sundown on a Jewish Holiday, and why you will not be at work on a Friday night, or play a football game on a Saturday morning. Set your boundaries and educate, lest you are in the middle of your Seder and instead of welcoming in Elijah you are welcoming in your partner fresh off a motor cycle ride. If you have never taken the time to educate; this is no one’s fault but your,(my) own.
Today we will remember gratefully many things. It has been quite a crazy news week in the United States. I will not get into the gory details; however; let it be known that some citizens were very happy with one outcome and not the other in two major trials: Ahmaud Arbery, and Kyle Rittenhouse. Interestingly, the yay or nay to these two trials is split along political parameters. Our entire democracy seems to be split on a daily basis. I have never seen such unrest in my lifetime, and I hope by the time you are reading this letter times have changed for the better.
You are sleeping next to me as I write this to you. It is our Thursday night sleepover. I know there will come a time something will take precedent in your life over our sleepovers, and that will be another step in your growth. Yes; I will be sad, although I would never want you to be sad and do anything out of obligation. We will have our days.
We are going to remember today as the Thanksgiving that Silas cried for 6 hours except when he could try to sleep, as his gums were erupting with two new teeth. He missed some great foods, and we know how much he likes food! Hopefully for the first night of Hanukkah in two nights he will be back to his happy ways.
So; get your Menorah out, put on your Hanukkah dress and get ready for a fun eight nights!
…and then my Bunchkie; it is your 6th circle around the sun coming up on Christmas day! So happy this Jew since’52 has a reason to celebrate December the 25th!
Be grateful, be thankful always…we have all we need…I have you, you have me…
From my heart with love, Nana Nova