Dec. 18: Light the first candle

tonight, beginning the festival of lights,
in tribute to friends and beloveds who
celebrate, honoring those rebellious
Maccabees, who reclaimed, cleansed
and rededicated the temple, then relit
the single candle that continuously
burned for eight days.

It is that miracle and others I praise
on these darkening days, on one that
dawned foggy and still. It is those latkes
and jelly doughnuts I crave, and will
find, heading south to a warmer land

where my beloved and I will holiday
with, among other blessings, a superb
Jewish deli, the delights of Hanukkah
and Christmas together, and give thanks
for traditions so graciously shared.

And I will take a candle or two with me
to light and burn and joyfully partake
of potato pancakes and jelly doughnuts
and thank the heavens for friends and
family, all that I’ve been given, such
glorious abundance.

(Photo courtesy of

About janishaag

Writer, writing coach, editor
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