by Laura Weisskopf Bleill
On Monday night, we achieved a first in the Weisskopf-Bleill household: Chanukah candelighting by Skype.
Although we enjoyed a family Chanukah party complete with cousins and grandparents while we were in the suburbs for Thanksgiving, it wasn’t the same as we weren’t together during the actual holiday (I giggled through our faux candlelighting, sorry Mom). But thanks to technology, we were able to bridge the 160-mile gap this year.
Through the computer, we sang the same prayers (off-key, of course) and the grandparents watched the children’s eyes light up as the candles went aglow. It was the next best thing to being next door — or something like that.
Technology was a major part of our Chanukah celebration this year. Who hasn’t seen the amazing Maccabeats song “Candlelight” on YouTube (up to more than 2 million hits and counting)? Of course last week I already wrote about our affinity for Chanukah music on satellite radio (oddly enough, we never heard the Maccabeats song there)!
I doubt that our Skype candlelighting had as much of an impact on my daughters, especially the little one. In her world, Skype is a household word, a regular occurrence. Sometimes it’s a bit jarring for her to see certain people in real life that she usually only sees on a MacBook screen. She’s not yet 2, but she knows the cast of characters we chat with on a regular basis — and often takes the time to make it known who she wants to see.
But our impromptu sharing of candlelighting via teleconference really made the holiday for me. We were able to share our joy — and our children’s joy — with two of the people who love them most. We shared a moment, but more importantly we made a memory — a memory no different than one if we had been in their living room.
Really, that’s what the holidays are all about — sharing them with the ones you love, no matter how far apart you may be. These days, we’re a little closer than I ever imagined possible.
Laura Weisskopf Bleill, a co-founder of chambanamoms.com, has been known to Skype friends across the country — and across Mattis Avenue. She writes “Being a Jew in C-U,” a column about being a Jewish suburban girl in a cornfield, on Thursdays. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.