Tuesday morning after EJ had left for work, after I had eaten breakfast, and after I had showered and my wet hair had dried, I put on my coat, hat, boots, and mittens and bravely went out to snowblow the driveway. It required courage to snowblow the driveway because it was a frigid 14 degrees and blustery with a windchill of -2. The cold made my face, fingers, and legs ache. When I finally finished–it took me probably one-and-a-half hours– and came back inside to warm up, my legs were bright red with cold. EJ said he is going to get me some Carhart pants to keep me warm. I think that getting Carharts means that I will have become an authentic, true-blue country person.
While I was snowblowing, I heard the trees squeaking and creaking as they swayed in the wind. All the trees looked as if they were holding snowballs, and every now and then they would sway and toss them at each other in a shower of snow.
I was hoping that snowblowing the driveway would entice the mail lady into entering the driveway far enough to put my packages in the Magic Box. I also kept walking down the driveway in hopes that I would encounter her delivering my mail and maybe take my packages directly from her. However, I couldn’t stay out very long, and I missed her delivering the mail, and despite my snowblowing efforts, she did not put my packages in our magic box. Rats! JJ doesn’t have school today so he’s going to take me to the post office to pick up and send packages. I just got a voice message from my eye doctor that my new glasses are in and I’m hoping to convince JJ to drive me there too. I could drive myself, but I really hate driving down and up the driveway. Besides, I have gone with him on his errands simply because he has wanted company so I’m hoping he will return the favor.
I did laundry after I had recovered from snowblowing the driveway. As I was getting the laundry detergent from the shelf, I happened to notice a couple of bottles of bubble solution. We had bought them a couple of years ago because we had heard that bubbles will freeze in frigid temperatures. We wanted to try it but kept forgetting. I took the bubble solution outside yesterday and blew some bubbles, but I was disappointed that they floated away and I didn’t see them freezing. Maybe it wasn’t cold enough to freeze bubbles or maybe I needed to blow them onto a surface instead of into the air? I will try it again.
I’ve heard from others on Facebook that their ducks and chickens prefer being out in the cold and snowy weather. Mine must be wimps because they stay in their coop. I didn’t even open the chickens’ door yesterday because they haven’t been outside for days so I figured they certainly wouldn’t want to go out in the frigid cold and windy weather. I did open the ducks’ door, but the only time I saw them outside was when I went out to check on them–and they walked out of the coop very reluctantly.
Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. For supper I made country fried steak, green beans, and latkes with homemade applesauce. After JJ got home from work, we lit the candles.
We are not Jewish, but I actually enjoy celebrating Hanukkah as a believer in the Messiah. To be honest, with all the hectic and exhausting rush of Christmas decorating, shopping, baking, card sending, parties, secret santas, stressful family, trying to keep the cats out of the Christmas tree, and everything, I had trouble finding the Messiah in it all. The simple message of Jesus (Yeshua in Hebrew) as the Light of the World, and letting our lights shine in a darkening world is much more meaningful to me.
Of course, I don’t go around growling, “Bah Humbug.” If someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” or “Happy Holidays!” I wish them the same back. I have many friends who are Jewish believers in the Messiah who celebrate Hanukkah but not Christmas. In fact, many of them (including me) believe that Yeshua (Jesus) was probably born during one of the Biblical Feasts–such as Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) or Passover–and not on December 25. Some think that Yeshua was conceived in December, which would put his birth at Sukkot.
I think the Bible doesn’t clearly say when Yeshua/Jesus was born. There may be a good reason for this. The Biblical writers might have considered the day of his birth to be less important than the day of his death. In Ecclesiastes 7:1, King Solomon wrote: “A good name is better than good oil, and the day of death [is better] than the day of one’s birth.” I’ve read that the Jews believe that the real cause for joy and celebration is at the end of one’s life, when he has made it through life doing good deeds and changing the lives of those around him for the better, and is being buried with a “good name” and a legacy that can never be taken away from him. When the child is born, however, his very future and the path he will take in life is not yet known – and this should be cause for concern and worry for those around him. Yeshua/Jesus was a Jew, as were the Biblical writers, so they may likely have had this same belief.
My point is that many people who deeply love the Messiah do not celebrate His birth at Christmas. Some don’t believe in Jesus at all. Christmas is a Christian holiday. Pressuring those who don’t believe in Jesus/Yeshua to say “Merry Christmas” when they don’t believe in Christ is just as silly to me as pressuring Christians not to say “Merry Christmas” when they do. It would be like pressuring me to celebrate a Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim holiday when I am not a follower of those religions. I think that there are more important things to worry about instead of getting uptight about the way others greet you during the holidays. How about each person simply gives the greeting they want while graciously allowing others the same freedom? For goodness’ sakes, say “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” “Happy Hanukkah,” or nothing at all if you want and stop worrying about what others say. I believe that the Bible is true, and I believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah and the Light of the World, and I believe in taking a stand but not about minor things like holiday greetings.
Oops. I got kind of sidetracked…
EJ, JJ, and I have changed our traditions a bit. We celebrate Hanukkah but do not focus on gifts. This year JJ has asked if we could exchange gifts so for his sake we will. However, we are each only giving one gift to each other and keeping the dollar amount small. Since we moved to Northern Michigan, we usually go to the theater on Christmas day to watch the latest Star Wars movie. I love quiet, meaningful, non-hectic celebrations.