In honor of the conjunction of Thanksgiving with the start of Hanukkah—an event we haven’t seen since 1888 and won’t see again for (by some estimates) 79,000 years—I made turkey-shaped challah for today’s feast, using the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Happy holidays, everyone.
It is fifty years ago today that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the memory of that shocking, sad and terrible time is still strong. School closed, and along with all the other children I was sent home early, not entirely comprehending what had happened, until I met my father, also home unexpectedly early. It was the first and only time I saw him cry.
I post today a link to my husband’s art blog, with his own memories of that time, and a painting he created for this anniversary (detail below).
As we move into the darkest season, looking increasingly inward and reflecting on the year nearly past, and on our losses and our shortcomings, we encourage and inspire ourselves and each other with a multitude of festivals of light: Michaelmas, Dia de los Muertos, Diwali, Chanukah, Christmas. On November 11th we celebrate simultaneously Martinmas, the feast of kindly St. Martin of Tours, and Veterans Day, each with its acknowledgement of sadness, courage, and hope.
In our family, we follow a tradition begun when our children were tiny Waldorf kindergarteners, and we have a lantern walk at nightfall. Despite my [now very big] children’s inevitable complaints and eyerolling, we’ll all do the last dog-walk together, carrying our homemade paper lanterns and singing. Someday they’ll thank me…
In case you also would like to go singing through the darkness, here is one of the songs, a lovely round by Praetorius.