Each year for Chanukah I typically light an oil menorah and the boys each light their own menorahs with candles. This year, the oil cups we found at the store were not the right size for our oil menorah so we improvised using tealight candle holders.
On the seventh night, it occurred to me how perfect it actually was. As I admired the flames and the colored reflections on the bookshelf, I thought back to the reason I purchased these multi-colored glass candleholders: I bought them at Ikea to use for the candlelighting ceremony at my oldest son’s bar mitzvah celebration.
Each of the tall white candles we used that evening in November 2019, were lit by special people in our lives. Zach’s grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, teachers and friends came up to light their candle, symbolic of the light each of them bring to our life. We called them up each group at a time, sharing words of appreciation for their place in our life.
Once I made that connection between the bar mitzvah ceremony and this year’s Chanukah, I spent some time reflecting on all those loved ones who joined us that evening, many who we’ve celebrated Chanukah with in person through the years. Although we weren’t able to get together for this year’s holidays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are all in my thoughts as I light the menorah on the last night of Chanukah this year.
Memories of our times together through the years added additional warmth to this year’s holiday.