Confession: I don’t like doughnuts. I feel like it’s one of those things you’re supposed to like and it’s weird if you don’t. Like someone who doesn’t like puppies or sunshine. Eleven months out of the year it’s pretty much a non-issue. It’s really just around now that I find it especially hard since we have eight days of Presents! Draidels! Latkes! Doughnuts! And I just can’t bring myself to eat one. Sure, I’ll lick the frosting off and put it back. If there’s custard I’ll tap that too. I’ve passed it on to my kids, too. They’ll be all “can I just lick off the frosting?” and I’m like well obviously, how else does one eat a doughnut? Sometimes I think this habit has to be broken — I mean, can one go through life just licking frosting off the top of doughnuts? I see both sides. I see the wasteful part and I’m not one for wasting but I just don’t like them, or as the kids say, “it’s not my taste”.
This year I somehow accidentally ended up in Brooklyn for two days of Chanukah. I love Brooklyn. For the longest time, it was one of the boroughs I’d avoid at all costs. And now, I don’t get why. I mean, it’s not like it’s Staten Island. On Monday, my friend and I strutted down Lee Avenue, stopping in a bunch of stores along the way. It took me about three stores to realize that the music was all Chanukah music. It was pretty cool to hear and I even got a little bit giddy. I was feeling totally in the Chanukah spirit. Then I passed some more stores. Racks and racks of doughnuts, everywhere. Truly a doughnut lover’s dream but not for this lady. Is that bad? I mean, I wanted to buy some to bring home. I felt like it was something that I was supposed to do. I quickly turned my attention to the zebra cookies. We found ourselves in a super heimishe pizza shop. There were pre-packaged white fish sandwiches in the fridge. It was kind of awesome. Attention diverted.
I always love this time of year for the music. Especially that darn Christmas music where I know every single word to every single song and then I’ll feel all guilty because I’m Jewish, I should sing a Chanukah song instead. Then I’ll feel even more guilty because instead of traditional songs I’ll start singing one of those Maccabeat parody songs that I know Craig hates. So I’ll learn the words verbatim to the songs the Maccabeats are covering so that if I get caught singing a Maccabeat song I can quickly switch to the original. That was all fine until I heard Annie singing ooooo-ooooo shut up and dance with me. While it’s been a fun song to sing, somehow I don’t think the phrase “shut up” will be well-received in a preschool setting. Before you know it Annie will be the one telling the other kids how babies are made and I’m not sure I’m ready for phone calls from angry parents. Like I always say, no good can come from me singing.
Let’s talk about Chanukah presents. I would love to get Annie an American Girl doll. Annie does not know what an American Girl is. I think it’s really more like: I want an American Girl doll and I’m using Annie to get one. For me. So not this year. Anyway, Annie kind of has a running list in her head of presents she’d like and she’ll often update me on any adjustments. It’s never anything big but she takes the list pretty seriously. I guess at this stage in her life she’s still pretty low maintenance and doesn’t require any extravagant gifts. Also the grandparents pretty much take care of the good stuff, so I had time to focus on the list. For the rest of them, well, I know what makes my kids happy. Last week Craig and I wrapped all the gifts in the packing paper that came in our Amazon boxes. To say that they looked ghetto is an understatement but I didn’t care. When Annie saw the stack of gifts she looked at me and said I really hope you got me what I asked for. A little taken aback by her sense of entitlement, I asked her what it was that she wanted. “You know, those square papers that have a sticky strip that come in lots of colors?” Ah, Post-its. I smirked and thought to myself, I got this.
Holidays aren’t just about the music or the gifts; they’re about much more. Like family, traditions, and miracles. But the gifts and music? They’re more like the frosting on top of the doughnut, which we all know is the best part!