Chanukah and Christmas cheer will save us this December, in the time of Covid.
The sweet, simple donut menorah spotted December 10 at Daily Provisions in Union Square, New York City. Photos by Alice Garbarini Hurley.
Many of us carry extra weight on our shoulders these days — debt, worry, health risks, loss, family fault lines. We try to shrug it off, but it’s not easy. Still, along the way, it’s hard not to smile at these bursts of holiday joy.
- Menorahs. I’ve seen them brighten the dark with white, blue or natural beeswax tapers — for your consideration, the brilliant donut menorah, above, spotted in New York City last Thursday night. I zipped in for a few hours with three masked kids in the back seat of my secondhand Toyota and was focusing on pretty blue Joe Coffee bags at Daily Provisions in Union Square. The kids noticed the menorah in the window and mustered up their courage to ask if the swirled cruller donuts were real. Yes, they were, and the little café makes them; we heard they sell out fast.
- Snow. It falls pure and clean, like a new start. In our pocket of the woods, the forecast for tomorrow calls for 100 percent chance of snow. Our girl might whip up snow cream. Two years ago, she made it from snow, half and half, sugar and vanilla extract and sold it by the cupful, door to door, to our kind neighbors. She made $18.
- Music. Ask your Google speaker to play seasonal songs. Try “The Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler; Christmas music by Nat King Cole; or “River,” the 1971 favorite by Joni Mitchell that begins with: It’s coming on Christmas/They’re cutting down trees/They’re putting up reindeer/And singing songs of joy and peace/Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on.
- Doggy coats and Christmas sweaters. I dare you not to smile at any breed of dog wearing one, including my adorable auburn buddy below, who wags constantly in my presence.
Alice Garbarini Hurley lives in Montclair, New Jersey with her family. Listening to Nat King Cole in the kitchen and buying torrone for her siblings added spark to a tough day, December 15.