In addition to preparing for Thanksgiving, our family is preparing for Hanukkah which starts next week. The highlight of the Festival of Lights, is the nightly lighting of the menorahs. We have a wonderful collection of special menorahs...one was a wedding gift, several were lovingly made by Noah and Camille, one from Adam's grandmother, a couple were bought on different trips... we usually have all of our menorahs on display in the window of our home. I love the way they flicker and dance in the windows on those cold, dark nights. Those bright lights tell the story of a miracle, they tell the story of our family, and they also bring hope, warmth, and joy to us and to those walking past our window. When we made this big move halfway around the world, we had to leave many of our belongings in storage. I miss those menorahs that we carefully put into storage, but I also have to admit that I enjoy creating menorahs that are unique to our time here in Sicily.
Since we live on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Ocean, many of the natural objects we collect on hikes are related to the ocean. We put together three different menorahs using shells and rocks from recent winter beach trips. I love the idea of celebrating both the miracle of light and the miracles of the natural world. These could also be easily adapted for use with advent candles and Thanksgiving decor. We made these menorahs for our home and we'll look forward to officially lighting them next week, but they can easily be wrapped and given as gifts with a note on how to "assemble" them. I also think it would a fun and thoughtful way to celebrate Hanukkah or Winter Solstice by inviting friends to join you on a special nature hike to gather items for making your own menorahs together.
Line up 9 tea light candles in a row. Place the middle one (the shammash...the candle that is used to light all of the others) on top of a flat smooth rock. Surround the candles with rocks.
Collect and clean 9 small glass jars (or plastic cups like we did several years ago). Fill each jar with sand. Add seashells to the jars. Add a candle to each jar.
9 tea light candles, 9 decorative bowls, and shells to surround each candle.
During this holiday season, our family sends you wishes for many peaceful, joyful, and magical experiences!