Friday, December 11, 2020

Open House Night Two

 Welcome to my open house, night two!

Happy Hanukkah, night two!

Tonight's musical offering is The Maccabeats

2020 Hanukkah song. I had fun noticing how the lyrics and presentation reflect this time.

Someone did some fine editing here!


I'm grateful to Deb and Liz who have inspired me to post this way.

My post tonight may have looked far less Holiday-like, as I have been thinking about what we say or don't and that includes emoji speak. But, I'll leave that be for now.


My experiences with the winter holidays (Hanukkah & Christmas, specifically) through my lifespan are rather patchwork in nature.

As a young child we had a tree, we assimilated            From age 7 through marriage, no tree

Married - celebrated both                               Unmarried with children - celebrated both 

Unmarried without children - both, but less & less        Adult years - More  Hanukkah

Adult years - Less Hanukkah                         Adult years - No Christmas


In many ways, most years, just confused! lol  

But not really, just diverse ;)


Over at Deb's I commented about a winter recital my daughter did at 7 years old. I thought it was to Let it Snow.

But, when I went to look at a photo, the title Winter Wonderland

came to my mind instantly. Wait a minute...which is it?


My comment at Deb's spoke to the fact that my mom loved this performance with music of her era and that she taught my daughter all of the lyrics to the song. But, here's the thing, it doesn't really matter which song it was, because I can still hear my mom singing both...and  therein lies the treasured memory. There are certain lyrics that are crystal her voice and that brings a smile. My daughter was quite musical and loved this experience shared with her grandmother. One of my daughter's performances was at a local tree lighting ceremony, outside. It was super cold for SoCal and I can so clearly remember, when the girls were done, they ran to the steps where teachers and mommies rushed over to put their jackets on. The memories of that single moment are sweet because they are filled with the kind of joy of season and love of dance and deep love for your child. At least that is how it was for me.


 My cookie choice as I head out the door to the next open house isn't really a winter holiday treat (unless you're thinking Halloween), but as you may have noticed, I'm doing this my way! Below is a recipe for my mama's Spider Cookies". As a kid growing up these were a favorite!

Maybe you would like them too.

May you enjoy the fun and sweetness of the season
May you remember and not care if you don't
May you sing and dance, or watch and listen
Photographs by NAE ©2020









Marti said...

"The memories of that single moment are sweet because they are filled with the kind of joy of season and love of dance and deep love for your child. At least that is how it was for me."

Nancy, how beautifully you expressed these memories; your words went right into my heart. Your daughter looks so lovely, the epitome of a snow fairy, in dance.

Yesterday my daughter told us that our granddaughter has decided that after 7 years in ballet, she started when she was 4, she wants to move on. Virtual lessons and no live performance of The Nutcracker this year finally got to her. She wants time to pursue other interests. I think this has a lot to do with the new school that she is attending. Her 6th grade class started back to school this past week and she wants to get to know her classmates, and when possible, get involved in the school's many activities. Her school has been excellent about having safe get togethers since September,small picnics, a welcome tea, etc. (Just as an aside, I think in class learning at this stage of the pandemic in California is nuts!)

Anyway, this note led me to go and look at some of the many photos that I have of her in her ballet class, wearing assorted tutus and in her many costumes when she performed in The Nutcracker, never a starring role but one of the many back ground dancers. It was always such a joy to see videos (we were never able to attend a live performance.)

I have such a sweet memory of visiting her class when she first started. (From the time our twin grands were born until two years ago when they spent part of their summer with us, I spent part of every summer with them.) Anyway, the first year that she started her classes, I had arrived at the airport and was quickly driven to the ballet studio. Her ballet teacher had been asked if I could attend the class so she had held the doors of the studio open until I arrived. As I made my way to my seat, Rowie quietly sent me a little wave. At 4, she was not the long-legged gazelle that she is now at 11;she was this adorable, serious little girl, short little legs standing in one of the ballet poses, fiercely determined to get it right, wearing a pink tutu.

She appeared in many Nutcrackers as I mentioned and also in the spring productions. One of the most special moments would come after each performance, her twin brother would present her with a bouquet of flowers, he was very proud of her dancing. A few years ago he used part of his allowance to buy her a ballerina ornament for their Christmas tree.

Liz A said...

I'm so glad you are posting these ... growing up in a town where Christians were in the distinct minority, I recall some wistfulness about not observing Hanukkah, which always sounded magical to me

and being a ballet mom ... for a time ... I can't hear Nutcracker music without remembering my own tiny dancer (until the summer when she went through four shoe sizes on her way to being 5'11" tall)

Nancy said...

Marti~ yes, my daughter started at age 4 too. They are so cute at that age! I can tell you hold those memories deep in your heart. Nutcracker and a June Show for 12 years! lots of memories! It was always hard to watch the girls drop off as they matured and began making new choices. Your grandchildren sound so special...I wonder what they'll do next! (((hugs)))

Liz~ Ha. The grass is always greener :) A family friend always wanted to be Jewish too. One year my parents had a Gentile Passover and invited our non-Jewish friends. I had a blast! These were our people and so much fun! xo

Deb G said...

Loved your music choice and your cookies made me smile! :) We really do need to find our own way with holidays. There are so many expectations and stereotypes that cause a lot of issues to come up...

You are right about the memory of the song, most important is remembering the joy. My only ballet memory is going to see the Nutcracker in Seattle. I saw it there a couple times, with the Maurice Sendak designed sets. Once we took one of my grandmothers, it's a good memory I haven't thought of for awhile.

So glad you've joined in with the open house!

Nancy said...

Deb~ I agree, there is so many expectations, stress and pressure during the holiday season...letting go of that and doing your own thing can help. Perhaps after this covid year, folks will act on what is truly important.
Boy, that must have been some Nutcracker to see! I've only seen that one on TV and the sets were quite intense as I recall.

Hazel said...

What a fun song! It brought back the memory of leading the "Dreidel" song at all school sings. The kids would throw out crazy things for it to be made of to challenge my rhyming skills (one of my super powers). I've also been to the Sendak Nutcracker here in Seattle long ago. It was quite wonderful.

Nancy said...

Hazel~ Oh, now I'm dying to know some of your rhymes! I'm pretty good at that too and love the brain challenge of doing so while reworking a familiar song...oy the many I've done to Row, Row, Row Your Boat!! haha Rhyming matters :)
I'll bet that Nutcracker was something to see. Wouldn't it be funny if you two had gone to the same show?!