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With the New Year’s hangover, the holiday season is officially over.  As people wake up to aspirins and walks and some ‘hair of the dog,’ resolutions are already fading as the remnants of Xmas trees languish and holiday lights attest to the procrastination that comes after the frenetic energy of the holidays.

In our house, candle wax has been scraped with wonder from places on which no candle could possibly have dripped. Our numerous Hanukiyot, pointing back to family Hanukahs long remembered and to the anticipation of family celebrations in the future, have been re-boxed and taken downstairs to the basement.  Tears of melancholy memory have been shed as our family came together to share in the light and love and laughter that is any family celebration.  Hanukiyot were lit in memory and in honor of those away or only present in our hearts.

Our son came in fromNew York, to stay with his sister and they both joined us in celebration. Our grandson was not with us and we lit a Hanukiyah in his honor, as we lit the Palombo Hanukiyah in memory of my father and in honor of my mother who could not be with us.

At Rocky Mountain Hai, we were joined by friends of all faiths, to share in the meaning and miracle that is Hanukah. I hope soon to publish here a video of the twice told story of Hanukah; the historical happenings and the mystical mythology.

But the season does not end with Hanukah, it begins.  Hanukah begins on the 25th of the winter month Kislev.  Christmas takes place on the 25th of the winter month December.  What do Jews do on that day of Christian faith in the future.  I went to the Chautauqua Ranger Cottage to work so that my friends could have that sacred day off with family.  I told stories of the old west and the critters, four legged and two who inhabited and still inhabit the west.  I brought some left over Hanukah gelt (not to be confused with Jewish guilt) to hand out to the kids as I guided families to good Christmas walks. In the world of which we dream, we would be reaching out to people of all religions to give to them during their holy times.

And so came New Year’s Eve and the glittering ball that falls from Time Square and the fireworks that shoot up in the air.  I had a scotch and called my children and grandchild to wish them a happy New Year, a year filled with good and gentle changes, a year occupied with compassion, a year in which all of humanity through their own paths would reach out to ease burdens and build the bonds of understanding and love.

I went to sleep before the ball dropped, but my dreams were filled with hope.  My resolution for 2012 is not to drop my resolve, to believe that we can learn from our diversity, that we can love the distinctions that flavor this delicious stew that we call humankind.

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