Piecing It Together

December 6, 2011

How did it get to be that time of year again so quickly? The season of light and goodwill. The season of wonder and joy. The season of shipping deadlines, long lists, and intense emotions. The season that always seems to entail a visit to our public school with a fervent reminder that in a public school all children and their cultures should be celebrated, not excluded or pressured to participate in community religious events that make them uncomfortable just so they can win the class party (is competition something we really want to highlight during this holiday season? perhaps I missed the memo...).I am becoming resigned to the fact that the holiday season entails these school meetings and emotional discussions with my kids. It's not easy being different.

But we are different, so instead of focusing on the challenges of this time of year, I am trying to focus on the festive side of it. We have been putting up our Hanukkah decorations, starting to read Hanukkah books, and starting to get excited about the approaching holiday that celebrates the miracle of light during the darkest time of the year. We have also been hard at work assembling mosaic menorahs. Over the past few years, we have collected some beautiful Sicilian beach souvenirs...shells, tiles, sea glass, beach rocks. It turns out that those broken bits and pieces make some pretty special menorahs. Menorahs that will remind us of our time in Sicily, the challenge of being different, and the peace that comes from creating something meaningful and unique.
The Jiu Jiu said...

As Foreign Service dependents, my sister and I certainly know what you're talking about... and our family handled it pretty much the same way. AJ was actually the only Jewish student in her (small) U.S. high school, and had the "joy" of several students actually refuse to sing ONE Chanukah song at the "holiday" concert. Happily, one young lady with a beautiful voice said that was ridiculous, she'd do it -- so this one 12th grader got up and did a beautiful job with Maos Tzur, and then AJ got up in front of everyone, told the story of Chanukkah, and lit the 1st candle. (Guess which one part of the "holiday" concert people raved about for the next several months...?)

I hope your brood never has to face something like that... and wish them the courage to be able to do what they feel they need to do when the need arises.

Now, if we could just figure out how to spell our December holiday...! 8-D

joyce matula welch said...

The menorah is so cool. I love the colors of the candles and the bits and pieces of stuff. I love that Hanukkah celebrates light. Wishing you and yours peace and love.

Dana said...

The colors are beautiful :)

We face this "being different" issue a bit too, but in a much different way & not at all connected to religion. In fact, it's the religion that often binds us (except for my odd Protestant husband, that is). Imagine being teased for bringing baby carrots to school for a snack ... silly, I know, but not to a sensitive 7-year-old girl. It doesn't stop there.

Best wishes for a peaceful holiday season.

likeschocolate said...

Beautiful Menorah! If your children don't ever want to be Jewish you can have my 4 year old. He came home declaring he was Jewish! He sang the dreidel song all day.. Which was very confusing for the 9 year old because he thought God would be made at our younger son for singing it. We told him it was Ok! Jesus was once Jewish too! The we told him it was Ok to learn about other cultures!

Unknown said...

Love your menorahs, you inspire me!!!

boatbaby said...

Beautiful! You sure are inspiring my friend!

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