Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmukkah Begins!

Ah's that time of year...the time when I get to eat my body weight in fried potatoes...

It's the Christmukkah season! Yes, in our house, we get to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas. People have asked me over the years if this dual celebration has confused our children, and my answer is that kids are pretty smart and tend to learn whatever they are taught, so no...they're not confused, although their lack of confusion may also come from the fact that we're pretty secular about both celebrations.

Actually, this year's Christmukkah celebration is rather tame since both holidays overlap...thus the celebration(s) are localized to this one week (which began last night, the first night of Hanukkah). The most stressful years, for me anyway, is when Hanukkah falls somewhere at the end of November or beginning of December. Usually, I'm up to my ears in final papers at that time. I'm just recovering from Thanksgiving. I'm not particularly ready for another family gathering (the family latke-fest is usually at our house because I seem to be the only one willing (or enough of a sucker) to fry up all those potato pancakes (the latkes for the uninitiated)). AND at that time, I am JUST NOT READY FOR ANOTHER HOLIDAY YET.

A couple of years ago, We celebrated 32 days of Christmukkah (from the first night of Hanukkah to Christmas). I nearly had a nervous breakdown.

DramaGirl and Turbo LOVED that year because it somehow became like THE MONTH OF PRESENTS, and we are NOT one of those families that you hear about that give their kids gifts on all 8 nights (one night is enough, thank you very much). I'm still scarred from that year, can you tell?

Anyway, yesterday, we kicked off Hanukkah a little early with a brunch. Now officially, the holiday wasn't supposed to start until the sun set, but we (Walter and I) decided that we wanted to do a brunch, so we feasted early, watched the Chargers prolong their season of agony by winning a game (finally) and then waited until it was dark to light the first candle.

I did make a kick-ass brunch.

Yum...fried potatoes! And don't ya love the Hanukkah tablecloth and the Christmas tree in the background. This is how it rolls at our house...complete inclusion!

We ate (and drank) all day long...and then we ate some more. Like I said, I'm pretty sure I consumed several thousand calories worth of Latkes, and other yumminess.

My response to that carb-loading venture...

A long run this morning with Mik and Betty! IN THE RAIN....It was a long, slow run in the rain. (9.5 miles, 1:52, 11:45 minute pace...I blame the rain)

It started off nice enough, and although we knew there was a fast moving storm headed our way, when I left my house it was sunny...still overcast at the beach, which is normal, and the weather report said it would start raining around we figured we had plenty of time.

One of Mik's last questions, before she took off (since she runs much faster than Betty or me) was: "If it starts raining, are we still running for two hours?" Answer: It depends on the rain.

But a dry run was not to be. I think we'd run about a mile and a half when I felt the first sprinkle. At first I hoped it was just ocean mist, By the third mile it was raining pretty seriously...and yet, for some crazy reason, we kept running.

Some thoughts about running in the rain.
  1. Sunglasses are useless in the rain. I wonder if someone has invented windshield wipers for them yet... That would be useful.
  2. You can't always see the puddles.
  3. Wet clothes weigh more than dry ones.
  4. Wet shoes suck THE MOST.
  5. Mist can be cooling, but wet pants are cold.
  6. Rain does give you the whole boardwalk to pretty much to yourself (which was wonderful).
  7. There are some other crazy runners running in the rain. They are all smiling. One woman running the opposite way of me laughed and told me how she was multi-tasking, showering and exercising at the same time.
  8. Homeless people look at you as if you're crazy.
  9. You don't get a salt-encrusted face after running in the rain. In fact, afterward it feels like a facial.
  10. Running with the rain at your back is WAY BETTER than running into the rain.
  11. Butt Chub Rub Chafing is still a problem... (Note to Betty: Glide on ass helps).
  12. We now have a list of things you cannot say to students who are changing by their car after surfing, and who recognize Betty. For example: Gee, it must have been cold out there...
  13. Blisters are caused by wet feet, especially due to wet socks and shoes (see #2 & 4 above).
  14. Wearing gloves is smart because they can be used to wipe water off face and snot running out of nose (Note to self: Wash gloves).
  15. Betty and Mik did a fine job of fogging up the windows and waiting for me in the car.
  16. Bringing dry clothes to change into is VERY SMART, since ride home in holiday traffic, slowed by rain, is inevitable.
  17. Changing into dry clothes in the back of a Honda Pilot is challenging (I think my quote, as I was rolling around in the back of the Pilot trying to change into dry sweatpants, was: "It's hard because I'm damp and sticky."

This is me getting out of the back of the car after changing clothes. Look at those puddles!

All that being said, I'm sooooooo glad I ran this morning, because I have LOADS of leftovers to deal with and the Christmas part of Christmukkah week hasn't even started yet.

And finally, I'll leave you with this because I *heart* Jon Stewart and I think he explains Hanukkah perfectly...

Happy Christmukkah Everyone!


  1. You put on a great spread! Yum!

    I intensely dislike running in the rain. There's just something about squishy shoes that makes me squirm.

    I also *heart* Jon Stewart...

    Have you heard "Can I Interest You In Hanukkah?" by Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert?

  2. Wow! Sounds like it can be quite busy around your house this time of year! Enjoy it!

    Nice job on the long run in the rain! Sounds like a great training run!

  3. OMG, I love latkes!
    I em'd you a race report. It was the "Secret Race." Since you always support me, I wanted to keep you updated.

  4. Happy Christmukkah to YOU!!

    Enjoy the 32 days of celebrating!!!


  5. you are so fun! next year Im totally wrangling an invitation.

  6. I love running in rain, though I draw the line at sleet and hail -- which happen, especially on Coronado in winter, so watch out. That's quite a spread you have on that table. I may need to convert!

  7. Happy Christmukkah!

    Send leftovers my way.

    Happy holidays!

  8. OMG!! I can finally leave a comment!! Yeah-thanks!
    OK, so great job at keeping up with the run, I think I'd rather run in the snow than the rain! Especially the wet shoes part. Food looks great! I really, really need to run outside-soon! Damn this long winter weather. Anyone need some of this snow for a white christmas???!!
    Happy Holidays!

  9. Happy Christmukkah. Those are awesome pics. Send me some latkes asap :)

  10. That brunch looks so yummy!

    You are so hardcore for running in the rain. Awesome job!

  11. Wow. That is a beautiful brunch spread! I wish growing up that I had been able to celebrate Christmukkah! Think of all the loot!

  12. it brings out the kid in runners to splash thru puddles and all, some mud makes it even better - i love it!
    i know a few people who celebrate christmasakkah (as they call it).

  13. That brunch spread looks amazing! You did all that? Wow, I'm impressed. Oh and I hate running in the rain...

    Merry Christmas, though!! :-)

  14. Happy Holidays!!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family!!


  15. Wow, you are so productive!! And I love Jon Stewart. I'm off to google "Can I interest you in Hanukkah" at Irene's suggestion. Merry Holidays!