Tis the Season.


For the past 17 years, Nes Gadol Haya Poh. So it is interesting that it is the world of cookie decorating that is getting me down. Having missed my family’s Chanuka party in Israel last night, my parents bestowed their gifts on our kids this morning via Skype (upside: no wrapping paper to clean up). This afternoon’s party will be with our Cleveland family. As the kids and I get ready, we start decorating our dreidel cookies with the Nun, Gimmel, Hey and then Shin. I get sad.

We went out late last night (read: after 10 pm) with another one of the shlichim with us here in Cleveland. As we walked into the pizza shop (Cleveland’s cafe of choice and winner of 2005’s prestigious award of Good Restaurant), we allowed ourselves this indulgence: we spent the first 10 minutes talking about all the cafes or restaurants we could have/would have met at had we been in Israel. I just think about Roladin donuts and the whole Chanuka vibe… mmmm…. Here, it is all Christmas, all the way. I mortified (totally mortified) Yael when we walked into Crate and Barrel last month (I finally caved and bought a vase. I just miss my pretty things). I asked the sales clerk, “there are like 17 shelves worth of Christmas decorations to buy and one measly baby shelf of Chanuka decorations. Don’t you think you could at least put that tiny tiny display somewhere other than the bottom corner?” She nodded in agreement (that’s probably in the handbook) and said she’d of course look into it. She, of course, did not. Oh Crate and Barrel, you disappoint.

Other things are quite wonderful. We spent last weekend on retreat with the entire High School. We spent a lot of time sharing our feelings and listening to teenagers talk about stuff. We left both emotionally exhausted and impressed at the depths that some kids can reach. Also we left $40 richer because Eitan won at High School bingo.

My kids are singing Christmas carols. Dov is enamored with the Christmas man. Channan is rallying for a tree. Every Disney show has a Christmas episode and our neighbors across the street have a decorated tree that our kids look at longingly. So we’re celebrating though I’m not sure exactly how much of which holiday.



  1. Yakira

    Devorah, I feel your pain for getting back to Israel. i have found that since we do not have a TV and only listen to CDs in the car we have limited access to Christmas and have not really run into any issues.

    • So the crazy part may be that it isn’t really pain. We know we’re here for a year so there’s this great adventure/experience mixed in with moments of homesickness. More often than not, we’re just having a good time.

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