Chanukah in Santa Land
On Sunday night, the first night of Chanukah, my cousin Myrna and her husband Biff invited us over for dinner. Myrna was raised Jewish....both of her parents were Jewish. Biff is not Jewish. Since Myrna and Biff have been married, they have always celebrated Christmas. I suppose Myrna is reacting to all of those early years without festive decorations for the holidays. Chanukah really isn't a major holiday. It just seems that way, because it's at the same time of year as Christmas. For many years we hosted the family Chanukah party. In the past few years our extended family has just grown too large for me to host the party at our little house, especially in the winter when we can't party outdoors. Myrna was NOT taking on the task of hosting the family Chanukah party. She just wanted Larry and I to come over for dinner so we could see her Department 56 Miniature Christmas Villages!
I guilted Myrna into serving a Chanukah dinner, since it was the first night. So, we had latkes (potato pancakes) on Spode Christmas tree plates. I brought my menorah and we placed it on the table in front of her Santa Claus centerpiece. The rest of the dinner was fairly traditional too....roasted chicken with cranberry sauce, apple sauce and sour cream for the latkes, green beans with mushrooms, pumpkin and apple pie.
Myrna's magical Christmas villages are beautiful. There's a Victorian Village, a ChinaTown Village, a Frontier Western Village and numerous displays of tiny buildings around the house. Myrna also has quite a collection of Christmas plates. I guess Myrna likes to celebrate Chrismas instead of Chanukah because of the artistic aspect. There wasn't a crucifix anywhere in the house...this was strictly a non-religious celebration. It was a very festive and colorful way to kick-off the season.