“I flip my latkes in the air sometimes, sayin’ ayy ohh, spin the dreidel
Just wanna celebrate for all eight nights, singin’ ayy oh, light the candles.”
~The Maccabeats, “Candlelight”
Tonight marks the beginning of my absolute favorite holiday, Hanukkah. All year long, I look forward to these eight days and eight nights of light, laughter, and love. There’s something uniquely special about this holiday. Reciting the blessings as a family, lighting the candles and watching as their sparks grow into flames, seeing everyone’s reactions as they open gifts, playing dreidel by the glow of a menorah’s candlelight … it’s the personification of warmth. To me, that’s what Hanukkah is truly about. It’s remembering the miracle of all those years ago – the oil that lasted for eight days and kept the synagogue’s eternal light aglow until more could be brought – and believing in the hope, the faith, the blessings of today. It’s drawing inspiration from those flickering flames and lighting them in ourselves, too. All those years ago, the Maccabees refused to take “no” for an answer. They believed in their synagogue and dedicated themselves to its preservation. No challenge was insurmountable. No mountain was too high. And when the oil did last for an extra week, well, maybe that’s all the proof we need … sometimes miracles really can happen if we only believe in them enough.
So, in that spirit, I thought I’d do a holiday version of Tuesday’s Tunes this week. Whatever you celebrate, I wish you nothing but joy. May your holiday season sparkle with magic and be strung with chords of warmth and glitter.
“Candelight” – The Maccabeats: This may not be a traditional Hanukkah song, but it is SO GOOD. The Maccabeats have such pure voices, and the way they put this video together is beyond clever. No matter how many times I watch, it always makes me smile. Latkes, dreidels, menorahs, and wonderful music … how better to celebrate this lovely, twinkling Festival of Lights?
“All I Want For Christmas is You” – Mariah Carey: Yes, I’m Jewish, but I still love Christmas music! Mariah’s song will always be one of my favorites. There’s an infectious kind of happiness in it, one that makes you want to tap your foot, bop your head, and sing along. It’s a feel-good song, a reminder that the holiday season is a time to let loose, let go, and let be.
“My Grown-Up Christmas List” – Kelly Clarkson: This may be a Christmas melody, but its message spans all religions and all people. It’s a reminder of what’s important in life, what wishes so many of our hearts hope for, what this world needs each and every day. There are many versions of this song, but to me, Kelly’s stands out. It’s whimsical, it’s magical, it’s beautiful. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about?
What are your favorite holiday tunes?