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.