A Very Wittbloom Chanukah 2013 – Return of the High Heeled Shoe

11 Dec


I love dating someone who was raised under a different religion, particularly one as richly cultural as Judaism. Although Zack and I never attend temple and agree that any future…ahem…ceremonies will remain largely non-denominational, we love celebrating friends’ weddings with a good Horah or glass breaking, or inviting friends over for our yearly Chanukah party. We’ve been told by more than one friend that this is a party they anticipate with fervor, and it’s easy to see why — there’s gambling! With a dreidel!! For quarters!!! Latkes! Donuts!! Wine!!! And I love sharing Chanukah with all my Shiksa and Shegetz (non-Jewish) friends. Having Emily earnestly ask, “How do you say thank you in Chanukah?” will have me laughing for eight days, minimum. 


The star of David Zack was holding in the top photo is actually a chocolate-covered, Hanukah-themed Oreo that I purchased for him at the fabulous Big Top Candy Shop on Congress in Austin, and was a part of the lineup of eight gifts* we exchanged throughout the celebration. This year, Hanukah started a lot earlier** on in the holiday season, so our party was actually held two days after Hanukah ended. Still, we broke out the red wine and latkes and partied it up. We had a smaller group this year, which just meant even more dreidel twirls for everyone.

*Caitlin got me an awesome Garmin watch for triathlon training, a warm, lovely scarf, a very much needed hairbrush and all kinds of treats. I got her a digital picture frame, the complete Daria series on DVD, and Phoenix and Miike Snow vinyl. My dad hooked us up with a crisp $100 bill each and got me Hendrix and Zeppelin t-shirts. 

**Chanukah started with a Wednesday night exchange in Chicago, soon after we landed and attempted to see Christmas lights (always celebrating both holidays at once.) 


Scooby was jealous of all the dreidel-ing so he decided it was time to join us. Zack will tell you the actual names of the dreidel sides, but basically, there’s a shape that looks like a W and that is the worst one to spin (shin) — you have to put 2 quarters into the pot. Then there’s a shape that kinda looks like a table sitting on its side, which is the Nun, and it means nothing happens, you just pass the dreidel to the next person. The shape that looks like the mathematical pie, aka “the divorce,” (hay) indicates you can take half of what is in the pot. Everyone adds one quarter back to the pot to fill it up again. Finally, there’s the most coveted of all the shapes, the “high-heeled shoe.” You get THE WHOLE MIDDLE POT, and then everyone’s gotta put two more quarters in (gimel). I lost everything this year (save one weird looking quarter that Emily was kind enough to give back to me). “Were we drunker when we played this last year? I feel like we chanted high heeled shoe a lot more.” -Caitlin. There was less chanting, but I did stand up and yell it while my dreidel spun several times, and the luck was with the only Jew at the party this year. I just about doubled up to $19 from my original 10 and now have over $60 in quarters in a cup, just in time to not need them, since Caitlin’s dad hooked us up with his washer/dryer for the holidays. 


Mostly, this year we all kinda sat around, chatted, and enjoyed all kinds of holiday snacks and libations. (So much Manischewitz.) Hanging out with friends and laying down some dreidel — it was a fantastic way to spend a cold and rainy Friday. Todah. <— That’s how you say thank you in Chanukah (Hebrew.)


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