It’s cold, in that “California Coastal Winter” way.  The kind of cold that makes you want to wear fuzzy socks and tall boots, and snuggle under a blanket and watch movies.  So we did.  But we took our boots off first.

Tonight we celebrated Christmas in the Jewish way….and we (along with about 42 residents from the local Jewish Senior Home, apparently) waited an hour to get a table at the best Chinese restaurant in town.  As the Zaydee next to us said “Oy!  There’s enough of us here for a minyan!”

It’s tradition.  Just like having Uncle Jason and Uncle Rick make sufganiyot for our Chanukah Party.  There’s something comforting about starting our own traditions, and creating the community that will carry them forward.  Max was in my belly when the first Bay Area Chanukah gathering began, and our celebration has grown as he’s gotten older(Yes, if you read the first link you’ll see that for the first part of my pregnancy we were calling Max “Tucker”.  Don’t be alarmed.  Read this if you want to know why. Or don’t read it, if you’re not into TMI.  When I first started blogging, it was pretty much only my best girlfriends and my mom who read it.  So I dropped the F bomb a lot.  And I may have mentioned how Max was conceived.  Consider yourself warned.)

But back to the donuts.  Did I mention that Jason went CRAZY and decided to try filling them with Nutella this year?



But back to the point of this post.  Traditions.  We light candles….

And we welcome new friends into the fold of old traditions.  They bring their own stories, their voices sing the Chanukah blessing with words that sound like ours, and their children run with Max around the living room, spinning driedels and eating a few too many pieces of gelt.  Our house was filled with the lilting sound of 2 year olds laughing (and trying to kill each other), adults sharing stories, and memories knitting themselves into the patchwork of a new community.   We’re honored that they joined us for a night of Chanukah (though I won’t mention them by name.  You know, because I want them to still like us.  And not be all “holy shit…she’s gonna talk about us on her blog every time we hang out.  Isn’t anything private anymore??” It is, ladies.  I promise I won’t use your name or your picture without your explicit permission.  And no one reads this damn thing anyway.)

So our new friends who remain nameless because I really want them to be our friends still, well some of them brought Chanukah cake pops….

I know, right?!  Ridiculous.  And not just for dessert, my friends.  These things make an awesome breakfast.  Just sayin’.

These however,


I have had enough potato latkes in the last 5 days to last me a lifetime.  Latkes benedict.  Latkes for lunch.  Latkes for dinner.  We’re breaking up latkes.  It’s not me, it’s you.  I’m leaving you for Chanukah cake pops.  Don’t be jealous.  You can’t compete.  And you should’ve seen this coming after my first affair with the donuts.  Some people never change.


There’s still a few nights left, and we’re plowing through some “big boy” presents….


Max says “Say Cheese” and then snaps your picture.  Then he reviews the pictures on the digital display and remarks “Oh, so cute!”.

I can’t imagine where he got that from.


After listening to him build lego towns, I am convinced that the last tiny bits of “baby” have officially turned into “little boy”.


We’re firmly entrenched in the holiday haze.  The best part?  Daddy’s home…..



We’re making the most of every darn minute of “family time”, and we’re feeling incredibly blessed.  I hope that your family, wherever you are, has the heat cranked up high and the music down low.  May you steal every last second of holiday love from these last few days of the year.  Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah!


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