In his slim volume entitled Hundred Dollar Holiday, Bill McKibben points out that the holidays of December no longer work for most of us. When Walmart extends Black Friday to five days, and we view it with dread rather than joy, something is wrong. McKibben urges us to back away from the mall, scale back radically on spending and recover joy in simple traditions.
As we approach the eight nights of Hanukkah, let us remember that the miracle occurred in a devastated Judea and in a Temple stripped bare. The little jar of oil, enough for one night, that burned for eight nights was seen as a symbol of God’s never ending miracles for us on a daily basis. On this holiday God wants to give us something that is spiritually invaluable, symbolized by the frail candles burning in the dark. But because our hands are so full of the toys of this world , the Almighty has no place to put it.