Thursday, December 27

Merry Hanamas

by Harvey Gould

When I was a youngster, since my birthday is December 22, those who didn’t know our family was Jewish always told my mother, “What a shame! You almost had a Christmas baby!”

My mother dutifully replied, “He was a Hanukah gift!” Oops!

When my wife, Karen, was a youngster, she’d always go to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, because she was raised in a New York Irish-Catholic family. Meanwhile, I’d be tucked away and slumbering peacefully in my bed in a Chicago suburb dreaming of bagels and cream cheese, not Santa Claus.

Since we tied the Catholic/Jewish knot, we now share a home in which on Friday nights we (more accurately, Karen) light the Shabbos candles and chant the prayer in Hebrew. We also recently finished decorating our house with a “living” Christmas tree, which we intend to plant to start our own Christmas grove to be populated, hopefully, with many annual Christmas trees to come.

The only “conversion” that’s gone on between us is that Karen brought me to love and appreciate all things Irish, which, in turn, led me to write a book covering our extended fourteen trips to the Old Sod over twenty years.

During this season of Hanukah and Christmas, I offer all of you a taste of my wife’s and my blended life together. 

So, rather than wishing some of you a (belated) Happy Hanukah and others a Merry Christmas, I wish you all a Merry Hanamas.

Guest blogger Harvey Gould is the author of A Fierce Local: Memoirs of My Love Affair with Ireland, a finalist in the San Francisco Writers Conference Indie Publishing Contest. For more information, visit or check out Harvey’s blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment