A thousand people, it seems, came to our house earlier. I would be overwhelmed, and so would Buck, were it not for one fact: none of them wanted to see us. They all, bless them, came to see my son, including 2 cute girls, who he had the sense to be nice to.

I missed the Hanukkah candles and blessing tonight due to a previously scheduled holiday party. Fortunately for me there are eight nights to do this on, so I am bound to get one of them right.

I have always loved the Hanukkah story: eight days of light where only one could be expected. And the triumph of the small army of natives against the hugest possible armed force of its day. Today, we could make short work of armor-plated elephants, but back then, it was a different thing altogether.

Why bother to combine my new Hanukkah and my old Christmas? No reason, other than they occur at almost the same time. These are the dark days of the calendar; all celebrations, in their own right, unmixed, should be enjoyed.

And so we climb through time to the spring.