It’s that time of year again. It’s so cold out, and the roads can be slippery, sometimes with hard-to-see black ice. I tend to stay safely inside, enjoying the warmth and comforts of my home. But the dark and cold can be oppressive, and so I am glad that there are occasions to bring light and joy into our lives during this time of year. It doesn’t help that my last three posts have been rather depressing, no pun intended. Reading and writing about the travails of the Nusbaum clan in the 1870s has not been uplifting, to say the least, though it has been interesting.
So I am grateful that Hanukah is starting tonight and that we get to light candles and bring more light into our homes. The candles kindle memories of my children lighting the menorah over the years, and now they enhance the images of my grandsons’ faces as we light the candles. The songs, the dreidels, the latkes—all signify joyfulness to me on a personal level and also triumph over all kinds of darkness on a historical and universal level.
And I am grateful also for the Christmas lights. Yes, the Christmas lights. It may not be my holiday, but the lights and trees and wreaths and music are uplifting as well. They also brighten these cold and dark days. I may not have Santa Claus coming to my house, but I can still share the excitement that so many children (and their parents) feel about his upcoming visit down their chimneys.
I am also grateful that I will be getting a break from the ice and cold (though not the darkness) when we head out of town later this week. The thought of a break from scarves, gloves, hats, and heavy coats is indeed enough to make me smile.
So the blog may be quiet for a bit as I enjoy a short escape from the New England winter. I have one more post about the 1870s that I will finish before the end of the week, and perhaps I will have a few thoughts to post while away, but the research will have to wait.
Let me take this chance then to wish you all a wonderful holiday season—whether you celebrate Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, something else, or no holiday at all. Enjoy any and all of the lights that diminish the darkness of these short winter days. And may 2015 bring us all good health, happiness, and peace. I still believe that peace is possible, despite all the darkness of all kinds that surrounds us all.
Empire State Building exhibiting decorative lights for both Chanukah and Christmas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)