Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Catholic Hanukkah in the First Grade

"So who celebrates Hanukkah?"  I was getting out all of my holiday decorations and the kids were positively bouncing out of their seats.  The handful who couldn't sit still if their lives depended on it were now just a colorful blur in front of me.  

A girl waved her hand in the air.  "I do!  I celebrate Hanukkah!"  

"Are you Jewish?"  I got all excited for a minute.  I was hoping for a parent to come in and help read the sides of the dreidel for the dreidel game.

The girl nodded her head up and down, still waving her hand in the air.

Then I remembered.  "Don't you go to CCD (religious ed. for Catholics)?"  

"Uh-huh!"  She smiled.

Then my face fell.  I'd have to convince my friend, Tracy to come in and help with holiday centers again.  It would involve bribery, since it would mean her rushing over to teach more kids after she'd just taught Hebrew all morning to first and second graders.

It would be worth it in the end.  My first graders learn and participate with enthusiasm that rivals no one else.

I wish we could be more like first graders, enjoying and appreciating each others beliefs and traditions, rather than spending so much time and energy dividing ourselves...


Jame said...

My friend's daughter Eva, about age 4 or 5 at the time, was raised a little bit Jewish, a little bit gentile, a little bit country, a little bit rock n roll...anyway, she got sick of people asking her so she announced, "I don't celebrate Christmas or Hannukah. I CELEBRATE THE KORMAN!" And we were all just really relieved that it was settled. We should all take a moment in the busy holiday season to thank the Creator for Harvey Korman. Now doesn't that feel better?

Penny said...

I will now celebrate the Korman. Perhaps a special little ceremony on my BIRTHDAY?

When I was a kid, lo those few years ago, I always wondered how people knew when Hannukah was. (I had/have the same problem with Thanksgiving.) It was all over the place, not settled down on one specific day, like, oh, say, Christmas. No wonder no one was Jewish in Penny World. (This is true. I grew up in Lily-whiteville, where you were Catholic or Protestant. Either or. Or even, perhaps a MIXED household like my own.)

Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder how I even knew about Hannukah.

Unknown said...

Nu? So why haven't you called me?

Annie said...

I thought for a minute I could save you the trip! Do you teach the catholic dreidel game over there at Schechter? By the way....it is now officially Tracy'sBirthdayMonth!!!!

Penny said...

This has nothing to do with anything, but I had a dream last night that you were giving out Harper ARCs to everyone at a big dinner in New York but then told me I had to pay $4.00 for it. And I couldn't sit with you guys--Jame, Gael, and Jame's mom were at your table.

Do I owe you $4 and it's haunting me? If I send it, then can I sit at the cool kid table?


Anonymous said...

Penny, my dear, I will pay hardcover rates for your ARC! (And, seriously, you've SEEN my table--it's a retro formica thing!)