As I celebrate Chanukah this year, I’m feeling very nostalgic. “It is both the pleasure and sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.”
This is a picture of our very first Chanukah menorah given by my parents for our first new home. For over 27 years, we commemorated the holiday with the very same menorah. The menorah was ceramic, so it was very challenging to clean. No shocker that initially after the first few years, I was thinking it was looking disarrayed and unkempt.
But then came the epiphany. With each successive Chanukah that followed, it hit me that this was not a merely pile of messy melted wax, this was a priceless piece of art. Year after year, the melting colored candle wax had dripped over that Menorah over and over again, and had left the most beautiful and artistic mark in the most unique way. In fact, each drool of wax, layers upon layers, had traced the rich history of so many treasured Chanukah memories we had shared together as a family.
Unfortunately, it did not stand the test of time. It survived a second move to another home but decades of burning flames on the delicately sculpted figurines had eventually broken their outstretched hands. The candlestick holders had crumbled with age, leaving behind nothing more than a stump of ashes. I tried to repair it multiple times by creating new holders with copper and foil but to no avail.
There comes a time when particular possessions no longer serve a purpose (especially when they are broken), and while they still hold sentimental value, I understood this to be that juncture where there’s a tug of the heart. I wanted to always remember it, so I took a picture and finally bid it farewell.
So learn from me, when you are deliberating about the stuff you can’t part with or think you can’t live without, take a pic and let it go. You don’t need to keep the physical item to commemorate the memories. For me, having it in hand or looking at the picture, brings me equal measures of nostalgia. I will always have these wonderful memories, albeit digitally, it still rekindles the moment.
To date, we bought a new one. It’s way more contemporary, shiny, and glass. It cleans well but without a trace from Chanukahs before. Life changes, and so has our Menorah. We’ve moved on, but our memories live forever.
How do you sustain your memories? Come join in the conversation, I would love for you to share your holiday nostalgia with me.