It is early August and my craft table is awash in a sea of blue and white card stock. No, I’m not scrapbooking about a recent vacation at the beach. What I am doing is working on this year’s crop of Hanukkah cards. Although Hanukkah is still 4 months away, I want to get them up on my Etsy store now so shoppers will have a chance to see them before the actual holiday.
Blue is one of my favorite colors, so I am enjoying this project. But as someone who does not celebrate Hanukkah, I am challenged to know whether or not the end results are anything those who do celebrate the holiday would want to share with others. I guess only time will tell. As I search online for suggested sayings for Hanukkah cards I find it interesting that many sayings sound suspiciously like the generic phrases that might go into Christmas cards, including: “good tidings at Hanukkah.” Seriously?
These others seem much more thematically appropriate:
- Wishing for the festival of lights to shine down on you and your family
- Happy Hanukkah from all of us to your beautiful family. May these eight days of celebration bring peace and joy to your household
- May the Menorah candles shine bright in your life. Remember the miracle they represent. Best wishes.
- May this Hanukkah fill your home with faith, light, freedom and love.
- May your home grow brighter, your faith grow stronger, and your hearts be warm with each candle you light.
Perhaps this is why on the second page of my search results there was a link to a blog post about whether Hanukkah cards were simply the further corruption of that minor holiday into something it’s not: a card-worthy end of the year holiday – i.e. Christmas as well as the New Year (as opposed to the Jewish New Year which occurs in the fall).
Am I assisting in this co-oping process by adding my own cards to the mix? Probably, but if so, I am hardly the first – commercial card makers, major retailers and advertisers have been at it long before me — and I doubt I will be the last. But as I ponder the issue it does put a damper on my Hanukkah card making enthusiasm and I wonder if it’s even worth it.
Just as I wonder any time I put a card up on my Etsy site — if I’m ever going to make a difference with them. I’d like to think, major or minor holiday, birthday or just because, there is always a reason to send a card to someone. Just to let them know they are on your mind. There are few things better (at least to me) than to open the mailbox at the end of the day and find amongst all the catalogs and advertising flyers an envelope with familiar handwriting on it – from a friend or a family member and to discover it’s a card or letter from them. [Of course as I write this I realize I don’t necessarily practice what I preach and am rather negligent in my own reaching out, except for the two most important people in my life. The others I connect to by e-mail or phone, if that.]
When I first started making cards, I had grand plans; I was going to change the world with my cards; people were going to use them to write things of great import and with great impact on those who received them. Um….yeah, right. I’ve often heard that the way to make God laugh is to tell him your plans. He obviously has not agreed that this is my grand purpose in life. I wonder what is.