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Re: Know when the holidays have officially arrived?

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Mike CohenRe: Know when the holidays have officially arrived?
by on Dec 8, 2009 at 10:47:03 am


Chanukkah for the Cohens was traditionally a time to gather, exchange copious amounts of gifts (8 nights x 11 people x 1 night of actual festivities) - each person opens 1 gift from one person, and round and round we would go.

This of course followed dinner of brisket, matzoh ball soup, kugel, chopped liver and when Grandma was around, stuffed cabbage with a stuffed derma chaser and my mom's specialy, latkes!


But the one thing missing was lights. For the "festival of lights" we had no lights except the traditional menorah.

So needless to say I was quite excited when I married a nice Catholic girl. Over the years I have become slightly less excited given the propensity of lights to get tangled over 12 months no matter how nicely you wrap them up. The "over-under" method that works with XLR cables does not apply.

We too have switched to LED lights - on the tree, in the windows, and large version of LED bulbs on the outside. Alas I'm in a townhouse so there is not much room to get too crazy. Not a bad bulb yet in 3 years.

I was most excited to get one of those porcelain winter villages to arrange on the mantle, complete with fake snow and a little mirrored skating pond with little skating figures. Maybe it was my sweet electric train set I had as a kid (17) but whatever. It is like traveling to a mysterious little town just over the next hill, with little George Bailey about to fall through the ice. Only don't let me get started on "It's a Wonderful Life." My dad, brother and I can quote every line of that movie, and I do a decent Jimmy Stewart impression (my wife hates it when I do the Charleston and stutter like Ol' Jimmy).

Oddly enough, Christmas Day with my in-laws consists of each person opening one present from one person, and round and round we go. Amazing. The highlight of the day is the lighting of the Christmas pudding. Rum plus fire at the dinner table is a beautiful thing.
(imagine "Backdraft" with icing!)

So traditions, whatever they may be, are what define the holidays for me. We have tried to combine traditions and make some new ones. Well, just about time to leave the house for today's call time. Gotta fly. On Prancer, on Vixen, on Judah, and Elijah. Ho Ho Ho, Shalom, Shalom, Shalom.

Mike Cohen


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