Chanukah Night Two Notes- Gratitude

Life always has its shares of ups and downs, but lately it seems there has been more than the normal turmoil. So I find myself searching for answers to questions that haven’t any answers. Ok, that is not true. I know the answers to many, I just don’t like them.

Frustration sets in so I head out to the garage to work out on the heavy bag. I turn on my boxing music. As you can guess there are a few standards. The theme to Rocky, Eye of The Tiger and The Contender are almost always included. Beyond that it is a bit of crap shoot. I have eclectic taste, but I need something that has a beat or provides energy, not to mention my mood. I’ll hit the meat of the post in a moment.

Here is an incomplete list of songs from my workout:

Girls, Girls, Girls– Motley Crue
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)-C+C Music Factory
What is Love?-Haddaway
Run To The Hills-Iron Maiden
I’m Too Sexy-Right Said Fred
Jump Around– House Of Pain
Dragostea Din Tei– O-Zone
A little less conversation– Elvis Presley
I Feel Love-Blue Man Group

It is another late night. Family obligations require my making several stops on the way home and as a result dinner is late. Needless to say this doesn’t make anyone happy. I take my son aside and say “kabed et eevecha” and he says ok. If you are not familiar with it, it is the beginning of the fifth commandment. In this case it is understood by my son as my way of saying that family “does for each other.” I look out for him, he looks out for me etc.

Still he is young and it is Chanukah. Kids and parents are both hungry and cranky. So we move through the night and take care of the priorities. The menorah is lit early in the evening, but gifts do not come until after dinner, homework and showers are completed to the standards set by the parents. For some reason every time we talk about homework I can hear The Who singing Baba O’Riley, specifically Teenage Wasteland. On a side note I enjoy The Blue Man group’s version too.

Eventually the tasks are taken care of and gifts are given. They are nothing grand. A couple of books, a pair of pants, a puzzle and a Batman wallet. We watch the children carefully because most of the fun is watching them experience these things. It is a little unfair, but I am aggravated with my daughter. She doesn’t like one of her gifts and she throws it on the floor. Granted she is 3.5 and overtired, but…

Moments later we send the kids off to bed and I follow them to talk about gratitude and why it is important to be thankful and appreciative of what we have. Some of the children they go to school with come from very affluent homes and frankly some of them have terrible attitudes. I won’t have it. I won’t accept this sort of behavior from my own children.

This weekend we’re going to spend more time sorting through old toys. It is time to speak with them again about how lucky they are and how not everyone has as much as they do. To ignore this and go about our business would be negligent.

7 Comments

  1. Jack's Shack December 7, 2007 at 6:11 am

    Chanukah has become nothing but a competition with Christmas. It’s all about bigger, better, more expensive presents.

    Not in this house. Without deeper meaning the holidays are just kind of there.

    Miriam,

    I”ll gladly accept that gift.

    Debbie,

    You clearly have excellent taste in music.

    Hi Barbara,

    Chag sameach to you too.

  2. BarbaraFromCalifornia December 7, 2007 at 1:49 am

    Happy Hanukah, Jack to you and your family.

    The lights from the candles are the best part in so many ways.

  3. Debbie December 6, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    Nice set of music. We have similar tastes. I think we usually have the answers to questions, as you say, we don’t alway like those answers.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

  4. Miriam L December 6, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    The whole gift thing is weird. Jack – I give you the gift of comments. Happy Chanukah.

  5. MizEllie December 6, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    It was really refreshing to read this post. In so many homes, Chanukah has become nothing but a competition with Christmas. It’s all about bigger, better, more expensive presents. It’s nice to know that you’re teaching your children some different and more important values.

    On another note, I had a great mental image of you hitting the speed bag to “I’m Too Sexy”….

  6. Jack's Shack December 6, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you. Chag Sameach to you too

  7. Mark December 6, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    “This weekend we’re going to spend more time sorting through old toys. It is time to speak with them again about how lucky they are and how not everyone has as much as they do. To ignore this and go about our business would be negligent.”

    One day your kids will realize how lucky they are to have parents like you.

    Chag Sameach.

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