Candles in the Kitchen

December 27, 2011

Latkes, dreidles, laughter, and my favorite moment of the evening: faces glowing in the light of the Hanukkah candles.

I love our annual Hanukkah party, but that wasn't evident earlier today when I was frantically cooking, crazily cleaning, and fussing at my kids. I even went so far as to make the ludicrous declaration that our family would NEVER host a party of any kind, EVER again. Not my finest moment and certainly not my best day. 

We returned a few days ago from our fabulously relaxing trip to Austria to discover that our heating system had died, that our car was out of gas, and that the grocery stores wouldn't be open due to the Christmas holidays. Being cold, hungry, and grumpy is not a good combination for a hostess and sadly, my kids bore the brunt of that today. Tonight I tucked them into bed with an apology and a promise that we will have more parties in the future. 

From the moment that doorbell rang and friends began to pore into our little house, the stress I had been carrying around all day began to melt. Their cheer, their helping hands, and their mere presence pulled me back from that spiraling, frantic place where I had been hovering near hysteria and made me realize how foolish it all was. Nothing needed to be perfect, nothing needed to be fancy, and we could all crowd into a kitchen with a sink full of dirty dishes and be surrounded by light and friendship. That's truly a good thing. 
Happy Hanukkah from our kitchen to yours!
likeschocolate said...

So sorry your day started so badly; however, I am glad in the end you had a wonderful time with your friends in celebration of the miracle of light.

Corinne said...

You actually made me have tears this morning because that feeling is SO FAMILIAR to me. I love to have people over but I get so worked up about having it be as perfect as I can imagine. And I, too, always find that it's the people in my home that make all the stress over perfection melt away. Thanks for reminding me that I'm not alone. Happy Hanukkah, my dear friend :)

Stacy said...

Hope you guys had a great Chanukah! We are so looking forward to more holidays together!!! I have definitely gotten more relaxed when it comes to entertaining over the years. I do stress about a clean house before the guests arrive, but if the food preparations don't all get done ahead of time it actually works out better! I think it makes for a more relaxed feeling if the guests can hang out in the kitchen (everybody always does anyway) while things get done. Don't worry, your family won't remember the threat of no more holiday parties only the lingering feeling a fun and "warm" celebration!

Emily said...

I think it's nice that the thing that finally relaxed you turned out to be your friends and family. It looks like a great party. I'm glad ther will be more of them in the future!

Happy Hanukkah, Lucia!

Juniper said...

Oh can I relate! There are those usual pre party moments of nuttiness but with the addition of heating problems, shops closed and no gas ..,, eek not an easy feat but it sounds like your natural grace and positive attitude came shining through, lovely warm photos of the gathering. Well done for not giving up! Happy belated Hanukkah!

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