Monday, December 8, 2014

The Mensch on the Bench partners with the Elf on the Shelf

Today, the Elf woke up to being squashed between two big books on the bookshelf.  Every morning Elf wakes up in a different location.  It’s a hard life, but an important one.  Every Advent, Elf keeps an eye on the children, until Christmas.  It is Elf’s job to report to Santa Claus how the children are behaving.  And with this family of eight, oh wait, baby Dominic is a new addition this year, this family of nine children, Elf is kept very busy.

Yikes!  Hannah is shoving a chocolate into the baby’s mouth.  Whew.  Abraham to the rescue, he’s the oldest and the most responsible of the children.

Last night, the children set up the crèche.  And Abraham gave me the baby Jesus to hide, until Christmas.  Jesus wasn’t born until Christmas, so he’s not put in the crib, until then.
Mary and Catherine are setting up the menorah. Tonight, Dad will light the first candle, commemorating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, at the time of the Maccabean Revolt.

It is interesting to observe this family celebrate both Christmas and Hanukah.  Dad is Jewish and Mom is Catholic.  Both religious traditions are observed in this family.  It’s a beautiful thing.

Oh NO!  Simon is making Judith and Aaron cry.  He’s a bit of a bully, but when Patrick comes to help Judith and Aaron, Simon back off.  Now, they all run off to supper.  Whatever happened, it’s over and forgotten.

The supper consists of potato latkes, which is a family favorite.  I also saw Mom working on a Buche de Noel, so I know what’s for dessert.  I just love this time of year.  It’s the first night of Hanukkah, so Dad will light the first candle.  Each child usually gets a little present for each day, but this year, I don’t have a clue what it is, and no one’s more observant than I.

Mmmm.  There is one present under the tree.  It could just possibly be one family present, like the year the first Hanukah gift was a toboggan for the family.  But this little-wrapped package is so small.  Maybe it’s a new dreidel?  But there’s nothing wrong with the old one.  Everyone loves playing with it.  I can’t wait for sundown and the first candle is lit.  The children are all excited.

Now the beautiful blessing is being prayed.  Dad lights the shamash and uses it to light the first candle.    I love it.  The children look so angelic and happy.  Did I tell you I love this stuff?

Ah!  It is that little present under the Christmas tree.  It’s … it’s what?  A funny teddy bear?  He’s wearing a prayer shawl, a beard, a soft black fedora, and a big, big smile.  He’s a mensch!

The children love him.  Dad explains that the Mensch is joining with me.  We both will be a team.  Now, I won’t be overworked and stressed.  I have a Mensch and he’s even winking at me. 

I don’t know what the kids think, but you know what I think?  I think Santa has given me an early Christmas present.  He’s given me a helper.  Together, Mensch and I have this family covered.                                                                                               Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!

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