Chanukah, presents, and music

Last night being the last night of Chanukah, I lit three candles, Ted lit three, and Hazel lit two. As I was lighting mine, I said that I was grateful for Ted, for Hazel, and for the twins. Ted said he was grateful for family, for our neighborhood and community, and for being able to see our kids grow up. When it was Hazel’s turn, I asked if there was anything she was happy about that she wanted to share. She said, “I’m glad the twins are here.” And when I asked her if there was anything else (on her second candle), she repeated herself. That was a poignant moment.

Today was a very full day. We went down to my sister’s place and my niece and Hazel decorated their tree. Then I went to a chamber music party where I got to play Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and a really cool Arensky quartet for violin, viola, and two celli. We also had a gift exchange that was brilliant and fun. This crowd uses the following awesome set of rules: everyone takes a number from a basket, which determines the order by which people get to choose a present; then, each person gets to either steal a present from someone else, or get a new one from under the tree; presents can be stolen up to three times, and then they’re out of circulation and the last person who stole them gets to keep them; if you have a present stolen from you, you get to pick again immediately, and either steal another present or get another fresh one; presents are inexpensive. I stole the present I came home with from someone else, who was happy that I did, because then she was able to steal back the one she wanted from someone else. Much hilarity ensued. Oh, and the present I stole was a pair of ornaments in the shape of an eighth note and a treble clef sign.

While I was at the party, Hazel went to spend a few hours with her friend Signe, whom she loves. Ted said she made a beeline for Signe’s room as soon as she got there, and didn’t even say goodbye to him. It is lovely to see her developing friendships like that.

Tonight we went over to friends’ where we had very delicious dinner. The twins hung out on a futon mattress on the floor while we ate, perfectly happily. That was great. Neither Ted nor I had to eat while holding a baby.

Now onto another week and the windup to Christmas…

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