Welcome to December. The weather here in Michigan has, appropriately enough, taken a decidedly winteresque turn. The temperature has plummeted, and there is a smattering of snow accumulation in the overnight forecast.
Speaking of overnight, when the sun sets this evening, the Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins.
Which reminds me of this story....
AN OLDIE BUT A GOODIE
The junior high school teacher was discussing Christmas traditions with her class one day. She had specifically asked what each student's family did on Christmas.
Becky Johnson replied, "We gather all the family around the tree, pass out the gifts, and then we open them in a mad dash. There's paper and laughter and shouting and it's wonderful!"
Jimmy Nolan described a quiet celebration and a reading of the Nativity scene from the Gospel of Luke.
Several other children explained about their family activities when the teacher finally came to Jacob Schwartzman. Realizing that Jacob's family was Jewish, she apologized to him and said, "You don't have to share anything, Jacob. Your family probably doesn't celebrate Christmas."
"Oh, but we do!" Jacob responded.
"You do?" the teacher asked. "Well, then, please feel free to share with the class."
Jacob stands and says, "My father owns the biggest toy store in town. And every Christmas morning, we have breakfast together as a family, then we get into a limousine, drive down to the toy store, and look at all the empty shelves."
Jacob paused, then with a smile he finishes, "And then we all hold hands, sing 'What A Friend We Have In Jesus,' and go to the Bahamas for a week."
[as retold in an old Mark's Musings post that predates this blog]
WORD for YOUR WEEK: As long as we're on the subject, let's do a Yiddish word this week. In Hebrew, "galal" means to roll, which was the foundation of the word, "megile," which refers to a scroll. During the festival of Purim, the book of Esther from the Old Testament is read in its entirety - twice - and thus the phrase, "he read the whole megillah" was coined. Now, of course, the verb can change (as in, "he ate the whole megillah"), but megillah still means a long account, a long story, or even a long event. Pretty much anything that would take some time and effort to finish.