Episode 2: 8 Crazy Nights
By: Shad Bookout
Hanukkah has arrived and, as the first official event of the holiday season is fully underway, the steady stream of packages continues to fill mail rooms across the country. Sure, during the eight nights of Hanukkah, there will be candles alit upon menorahs and kids spinning dreidels, but there is much more to the Festival of Lights than just these traditional items. In fact, for many families, Hanukkah is an eight-night celebration filled with gifts, togetherness, family and all the craziness that comes with it.
Grandmom’s menorah: check… Drapery cloth for the mantle: check… Lighter: check… candles (pause as the bottom of the box is searched) candles? Instead of candles you discover eight tiny nubs that once resembled candles. It will have to do for tonight, but it is time to jump on the iPad and put in a next day order for enough to last the rest of the holiday.
Night 2 – Dinner No.1 with relatives
This year, Aunt Shirah is coming to visit, along with her four children. You love your nieces and nephews. However, they are a bit – oh, how shall we say this – rough on the items around your apartment. Two years ago, they found a roll of Duct Tape in a cupboard and proceeded to join all the glassware in the kitchen into a decorative holiday arrangement. But that was two years ago. You are sure that this year will be different.
Later that night, you find yourself on Amazon once again. This time you get to order a new rug, thanks to the experiment to see how many full glasses of juice could be balanced on their heads.
The snow began to gently descend around 4:30 that night. Then, around 6:00, it turned into a few flurries. Now, it is 9:00 and the view out of the front door looks like you live in the Arctic Circle. You look down from your balcony and notice something odd about your car. Why is the sunroof open? You remember going out to the stores. You remember marveling at how the sky looked as it changed in advance of the coming snow. You remember opening the sunroof to take a picture. But what you did not remember was to close it back again. Better order some new seat covers and maybe some towels while you are at it.
Night 4 – The great sweater fiasco of 2015
Finally, a nice quiet night at home. After dinner, you sit on the sofa and peruse Facebook. There. you happen upon a photo of your BFF Meghan. She is at the store. Yours and hers favorite store! The one you were just at yesterday. And what is that she is holding in the photo captioned “Hanukkah Party Sweater”? The same one you bought yesterday. The party is in three nights, so you jump onto Amazon – yet again – and order one. You will return the other one to the store tomorrow (right after you kill Meghan).
Night 5 – Dinner with the Sabba Moshe
He is not really your grandfather, but he is close enough to be one. Tonight, he will tell you endless stories about your grandfather (who was his best friend growing up) and your father (who he considers a son). You will share memories of when you were a baby and a child. After dinner, you discover he has never ordered anything from Amazon and show him the app on your iPad. After explaining everything, you come across a scarf that he likes and place the order. You tell him that it will arrive before the end of the day tomorrow. He finds it fascinating and then begins another round of describing the scarf that your father wore when he…
Night 6 – A quiet night at home
A normal day and a normal night. After dinner you settle onto the sofa with a nice glass of wine. You look at the coffee table and see that Sabba Moshe left one of his many pairs of glasses and smile. This has certainly been an eventful year, and this Hanukkah celebration has been no exception. You slowly fade off into dreamland excited for tomorrow’s party with friends.
Night 7 – After the Hanukkah party
Who doesn’t love a great party? This one was epic. You laughed, you danced, and everyone loved your sweater (no one said anything about Meghan’s). Around midnight you grab an Uber home to your apartment. You open the door and turn on the lights. It takes a few moments before the reality of what you are seeing sets in. Your dog Hansel (he is so sweet) has decided that the throw pillows are evil, vile, entities that must be destroyed. And, this normally sweet dog has indeed destroyed them. The pillow carnage makes it look as though it snowed cotton in your apartment. You take a moment to photo shame Hansel, and then set about cleaning up the mess. Guess you will be ordering yet another item to be delivered.
Night 8 – The last candle is lit
As you gather your family into your apartment for the final night of Hanukkah, you breathe a sigh of relief. As this year’s host, you have set up a great spread of food and drink for your loving family. A few things had to be added to your last order from Amazon to complete the look, but it was all worth it. The delivery drivers who bring the packages to your community must think you are a shut-in, due to the high volume of almost daily deliveries over the past few days. The office staff knows better because they have heard all the stories. Since you receive text alerts from them when your packages have arrived, you always know when to head to the office. And the staff always seems to be eager to hear what else has happened to you over these eight crazy nights.
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