There as many holiday stories as there are people who share them. I hope that my story will bring both light to your day and a miracle your way. Last Saturday night was the start of Hanukah, the eight-day festival of light and miracles. After a very busy week, I remembered only the day before that I had no candles to light my menorah. As I soon discovered, all of the Hanukah candles had long since disappeared from the store shelves in downtown Toronto. Like me, many people had also left their candle purchase to the very last minute and they too had no candles to light their special and beautiful menorahs.
My menorah stood there unlit for five long dark nights, a sad reminder of how I had allowed myself to spend my time and energy focused on what was least important rather than on what was most important. My father passed away eighteen years ago on the sixth day of Hanukah and every year I light a memorial candle to honour his memory. As I was scanning a shelf in a cupboard, I saw a box out of the corner of my eye. Nine year ago, I had been given the box just before Hanukah. When I opened the box, I found an unopened box of Hanukah candles, a menorah and a booklet explaining the story and traditions of Hanukah. After my initial surprise, I realized that I had just experienced my own Hanukah miracle.
From now on, I will celebrate two memories on the sixth night of Hanukah: the memory of my father and the memory of this miracle. In the busy days ahead, remember to make time to see the miracles that may be right in front of you or on a shelf in one of your cupboards.