Plentiful and bountiful, drama during the holiday season is a sure thing with a very unique flavor. Starting with Thanksgiving, which by the way is my favorite holiday celebration. It just so happens that this year Hanukah is stealing time from the Thanksgiving feast. So, we have a hybrid occasion – Thanksgivingaka!
This is a conundrum for many – an inevitable freakout; one holiday at a time can be enough to manage, right? Here’s how I see the whole holiday mix-up.
1. Table setting is easier. Add a menorah, a few dreidels, toss chocolate Hanukah gelt on the table, serve up some potato latkes, bagels and lox, right along side the sweet potato casserole and cornbread. Does it really matter? Most people just want to drink, eat food, be merry and grab a gift. If all of this happens everyone should be happy.
2. Or, you could think of it this way: get it all over with and get out of town!
By the way, the merging of these two holidays won’t happen again for 700 years or something like that.
3. Celebrate Thanksgiving on thursday; digest the feast and anything else that may be stuffing you up; let everything settle for a few days. Take some time each day to exercise, meditate, pray, practice yoga, anything that brings you comfort and joy. Then move on to Hanukah; it’s here for seven nights and eight days.
4. Say grace, recite the Barucha, skip them both and just recite the serenity prayer, or say all of them. I say, the more prayer, the better.
If you don’t want to recite any of the prayers, then just be grateful for all that you have in your life. We all have something to be grateful for. Gratitude for the life we are given and the precious gifts that come with our life, is what it’s all about.
Bless us, Oh Lord
Bless us, oh Lord,
and these thy gifts
which we are about to receive
from thy bounty,
through Christ, our Lord.
We Give Our Thanks We Are Truly Thankful
For food that stays our hunger,
For rest that brings us ease,
For homes where memories linger,
We give our thanks for these.
Hanukah Blessing for Wine - Beracha Borei P’ri Ha-Gafen
“Baruch Atah YHVH/Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-Olam, Borei p’ri ha-gafen.”
“Praised are You,* Lord our God, King of the Universe -
Creator of the fruit of the vine.” Amen
The Original Serenity Prayer
“God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.”
Living one day at a time, Enjoying one moment at a time, Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, Taking, as Jesus did, This sinful world as it is, Not as I would have it, Trusting that You will make all things right, If I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can, Courage to change the things I can’t, and the Wisdom to know the difference.” Amen
Happy Thanksgiving and happy Hanukkah everyone; let it be loaded with love, joy and so many wonderful blessings!